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21.10.2003 Business & Finance

Aluminium producers discouraged by imported products

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Tema, Oct 21, GNA - The Ministry of Regional Cooperation and NEPAD is to hold bi-lateral negotiations to ensure the mutual implementation of protocols to facilitate trade between Ghana and its neighbours. In a speech read for him at the inauguration of the Ghana Aluminium Utensils Producers Association (GAUPA) on Monday, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, the Sector Minister, said reports indicated that local producers and exporters faced difficulties in transacting business and promised to help solve the problem.

He said one of the aims of the Ministry is to eliminate all barriers to trade, adding that it has instituted the West African Business Council to identify local partners and reliable imports to ensure the acceptability on the market.

Dr Apraku appealed to manufactures to take advantage of the competitive climate and to help improve the quality of their products. Mrs Leticia Osafo-Addo, food processor and a member of the Association of the Local Industries (AGI), said the importation of aluminium utensils, particularly used ones, pose a great threat to the growth and expansion of the industry.

She appealed to the government to take a critical look at the importation of sub-standard or second-hand aluminium products to ensure the survival of the industry.

Mrs Osafo-Addo appealed to the government to address the high taxes and tariffs, irregular utility services, lack of long term and low interest rate capital for investment and lack of access to foreign market.

Mr Frimpong Manso, Chairman of the GUAPA, said members of the association get discouraged by the influx of inferior goods imported into the country and called on the government to address the unfortunate situation since some of their members have threatened to fold up.

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