The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has said government has great plans to improve the country’s level of industrialisation and become a manufacturing hub for West Africa.
Addressing members of the TRAQUE Steering Committee at a meeting in Accra, he said the country’s political stability, human capital and diverse natural resources give it many competitive advantages.
Manufacturing is integral to economic development. Scarcely any country in the world has developed without passing through this, so experts say there is a need for Ghana to embark on structural change for industrial development.
The benefits of industrial transformation are several, including rapid productivity growth, stable, well-paid jobs, the fostering of innovation, and facilitation of trade integration through exports. But the country’s manufacturing data are dismal.
However, the country’s dream of boosting the manufacturing sector is faced with several challenges; and according to the Trade and Industry minister, one of such challenges is to ensure the highest quality in standards of manufactured products.
“At the same time we must also raise strong objections to those countries which export sub-standard goods to Ghana — including foods, drugs and other industrial inputs that have passed their sell-by date and are not fit for consumption or utilisation.
“As Ghana’s quality and standards institutions become more strengthened, we hope that they will pay attention not only to the standards of products made in Ghana and which may be exported elsewhere, but also to the poor quality standards of some products that should not be imported and sold in Ghana,” he said.
He said government is very much aware that the application of standards and meeting technical requirements improves the attractiveness of manufactured products and helps to open up trade to all countries in the world.
This is because attaining international standards help to provide the technical basis on which trade agreements between countries can be executed, whether at the regional or international level.
He said it is in this context that government, via the Trade &Industry ministry in collaboration with the European Commission, decided to review Ghana’s Quality Infrastructure through the TRAQUE Programme so the nation attains a national quality infrastructure that is functioning efficiency in line with international best practice.
The TRAQUE Programme aims at offering continued support to the Ministry of Trade and Industry in private sector development, trade facilitation and capacity building — with special attention to capacity issues, industrial strategy and post-Economic Partnership Agreement implementation support among others.