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05.03.2009 Business & Finance

Trade Ministry to establish Tariffs Advisory Board

By gna

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is to establish a Trade and Tariffs Advisory Board to promote a transparent tariff regime to ensure a level playing field for all economic operators.

The formation of the Board will be a front runner to the establishment of

the Ghana International Trade Commission.
Presenting the NDC maiden budget to Parliament, Dr Kwabena Duffuor said the Ministry would also be issuing Quarterly Trade Statistics Bulletin to promote decision-making.

He said the Ministry would monitor and improve the quality of trade and industry data in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

Besides, the Ministry will develop an Industrial Sector Policy to complement the Trade Sector Support Programme, currently being implemented under the Ghana Trade Policy and also take steps to re-establish the Inter-institutional Committees to ensure effective coordination with other stakeholders.

Dr Duffuor said the Ministry would be at the fore-front of facilitating an integrated development of a viable petro-chemical industry in order to take

full advantage of the exploitation of crude oil to produce fertilizer, PVC granules and other related products.

The production of caustic soda, based on local salt production will be promoted, he said.

The Finance Minister said efforts would be made to enhance global and regional competitiveness of products from the country.

In this regard, an industrial support centre to coordinate assistance to firms to become internationally competitive will be established in consultation with Private Enterprise Foundation, Association of Ghana Industries and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Ministry will develop a National Export strategy to provide a strategic direction and road map for refocusing national efforts to achieve a quantum leap in exports.

In addition, CEPS Procedures will be simplified and the Remote

Controlled Entry System for Customs Declaration strengthened as a means to facilitate Trade in Ghana.

Dr Duffuor said the Destination Inspection Scheme would be reviewed with stakeholder participation to agree on the way forward in the area of customs inspection and valuation.

In addition, CEPS procedures will be simplified and the electronic

entry system for Customs Declaration, GCNet, strengthened.

Preparation will also commence for the formulation of the second phase of the Gateway Programme to sustain the gains made under the first phase which ends in December 2009.

Dr Duffuor said the Ministry would commence reforms aimed at overhauling Ghana's quality infrastructure regarding Standards, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM).

This is to ensure consumer safety as well as meet international best

practice, and clarify the role of standards setting and enforcing

institutions, the Minister said.
The Ministry, in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Quality will continue to organize workshops on Quality Management Systems to enable SMEs appreciate and install quality management system at the firm level.

“This is a strategic objective to enhance their competitiveness in both local

and export markets,” Dr Duffuor said.
The Ghana Standards Board (GSB) will be supported to offer technical support services to exporters in order for them to overcome technical barriers to trade (TBT) as well as to help them meet Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) requirements.

The Ministry will also set up an effective National Alert System to inform exporters about issues regarding sub-standard goods and changes in requirements regarding export products.

Dr Duffuor said in order to reduce the volume of sugar

importation and other allied products, the Ministry would support

the setting up of an integrated sugar manufacturing project to

produce sugar and ethanol in the Savelugu-Nanton District of

the Northern Region.
The Ministry will establish a web-based product gallery to showcase made-in-Ghana goods. Additionally, the National Friday Wear Programme will be expanded to the districts to enhance patronage and create demand for made-in-Ghana garments and textiles to create jobs and wealth.

The Ministry has been allocated an amount of GH ¢72,296,148 to implement its activities.