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22.10.2008 Business & Finance

Experts meet on National Standards Policy

By gna

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiative (PSI) on Wednesday put experts together at a workshop to review the country's trade standards and establish a framework for the formulation of a transparent National Standards Policy (NSP).

The validation workshop was part of a process to review and raise Ghana's Standards, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) infrastructure to international standards to bolster the country's effort at attaining a middle income status by 2015.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Trade, Industry and PSI, who opened the one-day workshop, charged the experts to devise a more focused approach to foster effective symbiosis amongst all institutions across the entire standards and regulatory chain.

He said the application of international best practices required that Ghana modernised relevant pieces of legislation and technical regulations and strengthened the management and financing of its technical institutions in the field of standardisation, inspection, testing and certification.

“The exercise will ensure that any gaps in the current legal and institutional regime that offer opportunity for unscrupulous persons to take advantage of consumers are closed,” he said.

Papa Ankomah said the implementation of the SQAM and the subsequent formulation of the NSP were expected to make room for more investment and private sector participation in partnerships with public sector institutions.

Dr. Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Director General of Private Enterprises Foundation, called on all sectors of the economy to get involved in building the new SQAM system, saying that it was key to the realisation of the professed Golden Age of Business.

“We have no choice because the world has long moved on from our current SQAM system and we need to catch up if we are to engender investor confidence in our economy,” he said.