The idea to promote made in Ghana goods has deepened over the last few years when it finally became a recommendable national policy to devote Fridays to wearing “Made in Ghana’’ attires made from Ghanaian fabrics.
The decision to import and purchase foreign products, however has been the norm and the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah has reiterated the need for building and developing local industries to produce, consume and sell to the rest of the world.
Ahenkorah speaking with Goldstreet Business said the need to grow the local manufacturing industry must remain paramount in government’s industrialization agenda which was launched by President Akufo-Addo.
He noted that many products manufactured in Ghana have a better and higher quality than similar imported goods.
‘’Unfortunately because we are used to importing, we do not pay enough attention to Ghanaian manufactured goods and products.’’
The country imports mostly industrial supplies, foodstuffs, capital and consumer goods with its main import partners being China, United States, United Kingdom and France.
According to a trading economics report, imports into Ghana increased to US$3,240.90 million in the third quarter of 2017 from US$3,027.47 million in the second quarter of 2017.
It indicated that imports in Ghana averaged US$2,676.06 million from 2003 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of US$4,747.16 million in the second quarter of 2012 and a record low of US$692.74 million in the first quarter of 2003.
Ahenkorah said to promote and sell made in Ghana goods, government must remain steadfast in protecting and assuring local industries, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through its industrialization agenda by way of tax cuts to promote higher production and at reduced cost.
‘’We need to also tighten the policy on imports by imposing higher tariffs on imports and loosening the excess duties on exports,’’ he noted.
The Minister said for the country to be recognized as a trade hub, it needs rebrand itself by prioritizing industrialization that will create jobs for the youth and increase revenue generation.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah