Accra, March 19, GNA – Mr Murtala Mohammed, the Deputy Minister of Trade (MOTI) and Industry, in-Charge of Trade on Thursday appealed to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to promote and patronize Made-in-Ghana goods.
He said MDAs must encourage their staff to voluntarily wear clothes made from local fabrics to work every day, just like MOTI had been able to do; adding that, this would help boost the growth of small and medium enterprises in the country.
He commended the administration of former President John Agyekum Kufour for introducing the programme ‘wear Made-in-Ghana clothes on Fridays’ across the country as part of efforts to promote the local textile industry.
Mr Mohammed said this in Accra during a meeting with the Communications, Advertising and Marketing Thematic Group of the Made-in-Ghana Committee and the Market Research Institute.
It would be recalled that in December, 2014, President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated the Made-in-Ghana Goods Committee, and tasked it to initiate and implement public awareness programmes that would project these goods.
Mr Mohammed said importation of pirated textiles had been affecting the performance of the local textile industry, and that, government in line with Article 41 of the World Trade Organization would continue to seize and destroy pirated textiles.
He explained that because these textiles were pirated, their standards such as chemical components could be harmful to the human body, and therefore, government would not donate such items to orphanages or the prison inmates.
The Deputy Minister said employment opportunities offered by the textiles industry in the country over the years had dwindled from 30,000 to less than 3,000, due to the activities of importers of pirated textiles.
He said in 2014, Ghana imported $ 17 billion of goods as against $ 13 billon exports, declaring that the trade deficit of $ 4 billion could be attributed to the nation’s inability to increase its quantum of locally manufactured goods for export in order to balance the trade.
Mr Mohammed also observed that in 2014, Ghana increased its local rice production by 60 per cent, while the quantity of imported rice went down by 40 per cent.
He urged local manufacturers and producers to abide by the Ghana Standards Authority rules and regulation so that their products would be up to international standards.
He said good packaging and labeling was essential for the patronage of Made-in-Ghana goods by Ghanaians.
He said cabinet had approved the Consumer Protection Policy; which aims at ensuring the effective implementation of guidelines to adequately protect consumers.
Mr Gordon Grant Biaku of the Association of Marketing Practitioners urged leadership, especially those in government, to set the ball rolling by putting on Made-in-Ghana cloths; which according to him, would serve as an example for the ordinary Ghanaian to emulate.