Trade Ministry asked to support local businesses stay competitive

Ekow Spio-Garbrah - Minister of Trade
Ekow Spio-Garbrah – Minister of Trade

The Trade and Industry Ministry has been asked to provide strong technical support and build the capacity of local industries to aid their growth.

The Furniture and Wood Products Association of Ghana (FAWAG) said this was the way forward to ensure that they stayed competitive on the local and international markets.

Mr. Christopher Dadzawa, Administrative Officer of the Association, said the reasons given by parliament and other state institutions to justify the importation of furniture from Asia, should be a wake-up call to the Ministry to do more to assist the local furniture companies to perform.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, he indicated that, what was separating the Ghanaian furniture producers and their Asian counterparts was technology.

While the Asians have been using modern computerized production technology, those in Ghana still relied on analogue tools and machines.

He said although the local companies had access to quality wood – the raw material, the absence of modern production technologies had kept many of them struggling in their effort to standardize their products.

Mr. Dadzawa therefore underlined the need to expose them to new technologies and said this must be made an urgent priority.

It was the way to go to cut down waste, minimize pressure on the forest and add value to the country’s forest products.

He said given the appropriate policy measures and a conducive operational environment, the furniture industry could give employment to many skilled and unskilled youth and bring in more foreign exchange.

He criticized the award of contract for the supply of furniture to public schools, saying the situation where recognized furniture companies were often denied these jobs, had resulted in the production of sub-standard chairs and tables for the education institutions.

Source: GNA

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