Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah - Minister of Trade and Industry ?
Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah - Minister of Trade and Industry ?

Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Minister for Trade and Industry (MoTI) has welcomed the Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling (TRAQUE) programme, which aims at supporting the Ministry towards private sector development and trade facilitation.

Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah
Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

Dr Spio-Garbrah said Ghana would benefit from a total of 15,000,000 Euros from the two-year extension TRAQUE programme.

Consequently, he said, the country?s quality-related institutions, local industries, and small and medium-scale enterprises would also benefit indirectly from the facility.

Dr Spio-Garbrah was addressing a conference on Tuesday of the Third Steering Committee of the TRAQUE programme in Accra, which comprises representatives from the Ghana Standard Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority, European Union, and National Board for Small Scale Industries.

He said the Government was aware that the application of standards and meeting technical requirements improved the attractiveness of manufactured products and helped to open up trade to all countries in the world.

The attainment of international standards, he said, also helped to provide the technical basis on which trade agreements between countries could be executed, whether at the Regional or the International level.

?It is in this context that the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Trade and Industry is in collaboration with the European Commission to review Ghana?s Quality Infrastructure through the TRAQUE programme, so that as a nation, we attain a National Quality Infrastructure, which is functioning efficiently in-line with international best practice,? he explained.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said that the leaders of the nation had great plans to improve the level of industrialization for the country to become a manufacturing hub for West Africa, explaining that, the political stability, good governance, human capital, financial ecosystem and diverse natural resources offered Ghana many competitive advantages.

He emphasised that strong objections would be raised against countries which export sub-standard goods into the Ghana, including foods, drugs and other industrial inputs that had passed their sell-by date and were not fit for consumption or utilization.

Mr. Fritz Hendricks, a committee expert of TRAQUE, said their specific objective was to improve the trade related capacity and performance of MoTI and related agencies, while their intention was to support the national quality policy and the creation of the related National Quality Infrastructure.

He explained that when it came to quality infrastructure, their focus included manufacturing, services, domestic trade, international trade, consumer protection, and industrial policy.

They also intended to assist with the equipment and building renovation with about 6.1 million Euros.

Additionally, he expressed their preparedness to assist the country by training personnel on how to use the new methods of validation, maintenance and repair of equipment, and laboratory quality management.

Mr Hendrick said they had a number of supporting laboratories, including those of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

They were also prepared to support the National Accreditation Board in terms of legal identity and legal authority framework so that they could be the only institution with legal backing to issue accreditation certificates, he said, and to provide a foreign accreditation body to provide a twinning partner agreement with the Ghana Standard Authority.

?We are prepared to provide support to the warehouse receipt system by establishing certificates capacity and warehouse staff as well as provide about 1.9 million Euros to buy equipment for them,? he said.

Talking about TRAQUE?s support for policy and legislation, Mr Hendrick said they were prepared to initiate a proposal for integrated legal framework for product safety legislation thus technical regulation and market surveillance.

GNA

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