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Trade Ministry evaluating cement-trade-war

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ghacem-cementDr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industries says his Ministry is undertaking a thorough evaluation of various interests in the current trade-war between local cement manufacturers and importers.

He said the exercise, with references to price build-ups in other countries, should enable the Ministry pronounce appropriately on the issue.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said this during an interaction with management of Diamond Cement, a cement making company at Aflao, as part of his tour of facilities under the Ministry of Trade and Industries in the Volta Region.

Local cement makers are claiming cement imports from Nigeria and China are flooding the market, thus making their businesses uncompetitive.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said any move by Ghana would be in conformity with international trade practices and sub-regional pacts.

He said in the same vein Ghana, would expect trading partners to obey the international statutes, which would willfully make it difficult for Ghanaian cement producers to export to their countries.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said his ministry expects revenues that make up the shop price of imported cement as provided by the exporters to be transparent.

He said competition should make cement price a little cheaper than it is currently.

Tati Ramarao, General-Manager of Diamond Cement said the company is not afraid of competition but only wants an equal playing field.

He said Dankote Cement transported by road through Aflao to Ghana selling at cheaper prices and other imports had resulted in a drop in production at Diamond Cement, from 5,000 tonnes to 3,000 tonnes per day.

Mr Rao said the irony is that, the company out of social responsibility perspectives, is keeping the same number of workers in the face of dwindling production.

At Kensington Industries, a salt producing company whose operations span seven communities in littoral and lagoon confines of Ketu-South, Dr Spio-Garbrah suggested that companies investing in Ghana should arrange business partnership with community members.

He said this would generate a lot of affinity between the companies and communities in which they operate.

There is a turf war going between the wholly foreign owned salt mining company and the locals.

Source: GNA

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