Government is determined to revitalise the textile and garment industry by eliminating factors that contributed to the virtual collapse of numerous factories resulting in unemployment in the sector.
Mr Kwadwo Affram-Asiedu, Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and PSI, announced this when launching the "National Friday Wear" programme in the Western Region at Takoradi.
He said the promotion to ensure patronage of local textile garments was part of the efforts that would be sustained and intensified to succeed. The Deputy Minister pointed out that the programme was part of a comprehensive programme under the Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP) designed to promote Made-in-Ghana goods.
Mr Affram-Asiedu said the thrust in Government's policy in the sector, was the promotion of accelerated and sustainable industrial development within a liberalised economic environment. "The long term objective is to move the industrial sector from third to first position in terms of contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) up to 37 per cent by 2007," he added.
Mr Affram-Asiedu said some of the factors that contributed to the decline in the textile sector were smuggling into the country of cheaper pirated designs of textile wax prints that originated in Ghana "ironically with the collaboration of some citizens."
"The Government has resolved to stem this tide by resuscitating some of the collapsed textile industries such as Juapong Textiles and streamline imports of African wax prints only through the Takoradi Port," he stressed.
Mr Affram-Asiedu noted that there were huge potentials for the production of textile and garments to improve the living standards of communities in developing countries including Ghana. He said Ghana had all the attributes and a unique position to develop a vibrant local textile and garment industry and make inroads into the international markets.
Mr Affram-Asiedu reminded Ghanaians that patronising the "National Friday Wear" would contribute to the creation of employment, income generation and improvement in their living standards.
Mr Anthony Evans Amoah, Western Regional Minister said the programme, in addition to its economic importance would promote a unique Ghanaian identity. He said it would also help to reduce the infiltration of foreign fashions and designs and their imitation by the youth.
Awulae Annor Adjaye III, Paramount Chief of Western Nzema, said wearing of garments made from national textile factories should not be limited to only Fridays because of its cultural and economic importance to the country.
There were solidarity messages from the managements of Akosombo Textile Limited, Ghana Textile Printing, Centre for National Culture and Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association.
They called for support to eliminate smuggling within the industry and discourage the importation of second-hand clothing and factors that contributed to the collapse of the textile industry in the country. There was a fashion show and exhibition of local textile garments.