AGI laments over influx of imports, unfair trade practices

Rice And Food Imports
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Dr Humphrey K. Ayim-Darke, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), says the Association was concerned about the influx of imported goods through unfair trade practices and rife smuggling through the borders.

He said there was the need to halt the menace since it was making production in the country uncompetitive.

Dr Ayim-Darke, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho, said it also affected the efforts and desires for growth and called on the Volta Regional Minister and traditional authorities to help fight the menace.

He said it would not be prudent to leave the industrial development to mere forces of supply and demand.

“It is our strong belief that regulation to some extent can bring fairness and correct the market failures that bedeviled our middle-developed economy to streamline efforts that would aid significant competitiveness in our industry.”

He said the AGI believed and supported the recent Legislative Instrument (LI) tabled by the Trade Minister since it was the way to bring competitiveness to the country.

Dr Ayim-Darke said as much as the principle was correct, issues regarding implementations could still be deliberated on where the Committee and its Chair and the reporting procedures regarding tabling of applications, the processes and the role of the Trade Minister to accept or deny applications for restricted products could further be discussed and brought to bear on the economy.

He said the AGI had no doubts that the National Export Strategy if well implemented would enhance the country’s participation in AfCFTA and was hopeful that the Fair would continue to attract local investment to support the private sector leveraging opportunities in the single African market.

Dr Ayim-Darke said he was impressed with the enthusiasm and support demonstrated by various sponsors including the ABSA Bank among others.

The Fair being held at the Ho Jubilee Park is on the theme: “Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for Economic Development.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, said, “We can only grow competitive industries with business incubators when our economies are on the producing end and not at the receiving end.”

He said the vision was to make the region a producing and exporting one, which demanded an innovative and strong trade and industrial drive.

Dr Letsa said they were so concerned about trade and investment in the region because they were drivers of local economic development and growth.

“Trade and investments are principal sources of employment and make goods and services available to consumers at competitive prices.”

Dr Letsa noted that the domestic private sector partners, young entrepreneurs, academia and technocrats brought an invigorating blend of urgency and pragmatism, “a can do attitude” and willingness to roll up their sleeves and get things moving.

He entreated all local exhibitors to pay a little more attention to packaging and modeling for the sale of made in Ghana goods because the massive industrialisation drive by the government meant that there must be a way to dispose of the products, therefore, packaging must be done well.

Ms Emma M. Theofulus, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Namibia, said it was time for Africa hence the talk about Africa rising could no longer be seen as an expression but accompanied by action for it to be a reality.

“It is time for us to have our own version Tesla, Alibaba, Airbnb and Amazon. All that innovation and solutions must come from here in the Volta region.”

She said she wanted to be able to catch a train from Ho with stops along the west of the continent of Africa straight to the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek.

“The oppressors and imperialists have put limitations on our potentials by putting up our artificial borders that were hindering cocoa and its wine to be exported straight to Namibia.”

Ms Theofulus said limitations were put on shea butter to be exported straight to Namibia and on Namibian beef to be imported into Ghana, adding that the limitations also hindered the coming of Namibians into the Volta region “to come and experience your beautiful landscapes.”


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