They suggested that policies and regulations that governed the textile industry, especially those regarding standards, should be enforced to safeguard the industry from dumping of cheap materials from foreign countries.
At a “Spinnet Textile and Garment Cluster” workshop, the stakeholders noted that such a move would not only help create a fair playing ground in terms of marketing but would also enhance growth of the industry.
The forum formed part of the advocacy action of Spinnet Textile and Garment Cluster to create platform for other actors in the industry to dialogue on the issues of minimum standard for the industry and its effect on the local industry.
Madam Edwina Assan, President of Spinnet Textile and Garment Cluster, said trade liberalisation policies pursued by the nation over the past decades had led to the demise of large scale domestic manufacturing of textile products.
She said that had resulted in a serious loss of employment as well as foreign exchange to the country and that the policy direction of the Ghana was a major hindrance to the revival of the textile and garment industry.
“The collapse of the major textile manufacturing firms brought the micro, small and medium scale users and producers of textile products into many disadvantages, invariably leading to their inability to compete favorably with other countries and even locally.
“There are actually set minimum standards for the T&G industry, but they are not effectively enforced,” Madam Assan said.
She noted that smuggling and dumping of textile products in Ghana was posing greater problems for the industry adding “our local markets are flooded with cheaper textile materials at the lowest prices, which local producers are unable to compete with favorably”.
Madam Assan called on government to resource mandated institutions in charge of textile and garment imports to effectively check piracy and dumping of cheap and inferior textile goods on the local market.
She said that the local textile and garment industry lacked the needed technology input that would enhance the quality of their output and called for government interventions to help strengthen the industry to improve domestic output and diversify exports.
“Effective policing of national borders and more stringent and punitive measures must be put in place to check the smuggling and pirating of substandard textile products.
“The national task force must also be resourced adequately to be able to perform their duties more effectively,” they suggested,” she said.
The stakeholders noted said access to technology and finance for the micro, small and medium enterprises should be improved so that they could expand and upgrade their production output, in terms of quality.
According to them the future of Ghana’s textile and garment industry depended on government’s commitment, in terms of policy directions, both locally and the outcomes of international negotiations.
They, therefore, prevailed on government to pursue the right policies that would revive the industry as well as encourage a change of attitude of Ghanaians to value and patronize ‘Made in Ghana’ products to help promote the industry.