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Trade Ministry to collaborate with textile industries to curb textile piracy

Alan Kyeremateng

The Ministry of Trade and Industry would from September this year impose import restrictions on textiles to curb piracy.

Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister for Trade and Industry, said the move would ensure that all imported textiles are regulated, and recognised by local manufacturers as legal competitors.

He was speaking to journalists after a meeting with representatives from Textile Manufacturing Companies and Industrial Commercial Workers Union of Ghana on Thursday.

The meeting was to respond to petitions sent to the Ministry by local textile manufacturing companies to help find solution to their challenges.

He said the restriction would also prevent a situation where only one container of textile was recorded at the Tema Harbour, but local markets were flooded with foreign textiles, all of which pointed to piracy.

He said the textile industry in Ghana had over the years contributed much revenue to the economy and that was enough reason to bring back sanity in the sector.

He said the import restriction would be enforced by police on behalf of the Ministry and workers of the textile companies to ensure the local manufacturers take part in decisions affecting their work directly.

The Minister said a grace period of three months had been given to those actively involved in the importation of pirated textiles to stop the practice before the imposition of the restrictions take effect in September.

He said once the restriction takes effect, any other textile seen in local markets without tax stamps would be considered as contrabands and illegal.

Mr Kyerematen said it was his belief that, the implementation of the import restrictions on textiles and proper regulations, would force foreign textile manufacturers to move their industries to Ghana.

He said because Ghana’s textile market had a huge demand margin over supply, foreign manufacturers would be enticed and attracted to come to Ghana to set up their industries closer to the market where the demand is present.

The Minister said this would in turn mean more revenue and employment for the Ghanaian people.

Mr Kyerematen said as part of the five thematic solutions to the issues captured in the petition, the ministry in collaboration with the finance ministry and local manufacturers have agreed to from June 1; impose tax stamps in the trade of textiles in the country.

He said it was because pirated textiles were not tax stamped, that was why they were cheaper than locally manufactured ones and preferred by local retailers and customers.

Mr Kyerematen said the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, would also provide stimulus financial support to local manufacturing industries within one month time, to help them manage their increased cost of operation.

He said also as part of the five thematic measures to respond to petitions from local textile industries, government through its institutions would use government procurement power to support the purchase of local prints.

Mr Isaac Quartey, the Chairman of the Industrial Commercial Workers Union, expressed gratitude and thanked the Minister or adhering to the calls from local textile manufacturers and meeting with them to deliberate on finding solutions to their problems.

He said he was most especially happy that the ministry would be involving workers of local industries in curbing imports.

Volta Star Textile Company, Akosombo Textile Limited, and GTP Textile Print were among the local industries whose representatives took part in the meeting with the Trade Ministry.

Source: GNA

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