Vice President Amissah-Arthur said there was global competitiveness in the wood and furniture industry hence the need for players to strive for quality and good pricing for wood products.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf at the national stakeholders’ conference on the local wood and furniture industry in Accra under the theme: “Developing the Wood Industry, Prospects and Challenges”.
The conference, the first of its kind, sought to bring together estate developers, furniture companies, personnel of the Forestry Commission, Ghana Standards Authority, financial institutions, and development partners to deliberate and set out the tone for the marketing, financing and revival of the wood and furniture industry in Ghana.
It would also afford stakeholders the opportunity to identify the availability of raw materials and the various standards within the furniture industry so as to be able to produce and export to sub-regional markets.
Mr Kwesi Oppong Fosu, the Minister of State at the Presidency, who read the speech on behalf of the Vice President, said government was looking at reviewing laws in the wood and furniture industry in order to support the local industry and also attract the required revenue for the country.
He said natural resources would not continue to be in existence forever hence the need to maximize the use of forest reserves and engage in replanting especially for timber.
Dr Ekwow Spoi-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, called on wood and furniture producers to come together to secure larger orders of their products in the country.
He said other state institutions were requesting for large quantities of their products in various offices and departments and it would be appropriate for them to join forces to secure those contracts.
Dr Spio-Garbrah recalled the public uproar over the importation of furniture to Ghana’s Parliament and entreated wood and furniture manufacturers to strive to produce quality products to win contracts.
Mr Kweku Agyeman Mensah, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, called on entrepreneurs and bankers to invest in the recycling of timber products to propel the growth of the local wood industry.
Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, recalled how the industry had fetched more revenue for government over the years but expressed regret that the country’s forests had suffered depletion of some species in recent times.
He said the Commission was ready to provide stakeholders in the wood industry with technical support and urged them to consider planting timber, bamboo and rattan among others to fetch more revenue.
By Joyce Danso, GNA