Accra, June 25, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiative (PSI), has called on operators in the textile industry to take advantage of the first Textile and Garments Exposition dubbed TEX-EXPO 2004 to improve their products.
Launching the fair in Accra on Friday, he said the industrialists should also increase their capacity and competitiveness to enable them to meet international markets. The first annual exhibition, which would take place in July 2005, in Ghana, is to expose the textiles and garments industry and establish the country as a source of supply. Other fairs would be held abroad. PAK and KAP Associates Limited, textiles and garments and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Special Initiative are collaborating to organise the exhibition.
Mr Asiedu said the Ministry was aware of problems facing the sector, adding that, the government was doing everything possible to create a congenial macro-economic environment by looking at the private sector as the engine of growth under its golden age of business policy. He said while inflation and interest rates were on the decline, bottlenecks hindering business were also being rectified with the review of incentive packages and legal frameworks to enhance efficiency in the private sector.
The Deputy Minister pointed out that the garment sub-sector was actively being promoted to enable Ghana take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and said efforts were being made to extend AGOA provision on textiles and garments beyond 2004. Mr Asiedu said the full realisation of the PSI on garment was expected to have backward linkage to the textile industry including cotton production.
Ms Gifty Agodzo of PAK and KAP Associates said textile and garments in Ghana have not recorded any significant growth despite their economic viability, adding that, so far only 0.1 per cent of production houses in Ghana were able to export to the USA, the European Union and Africa. She said studies have shown that Ghana imported textiles and garments and used clothes worth millions of dollars.
Ms Agodzo said Made in Ghana textiles and garments form about 25 per cent of the total textile and garments supply in the country, 60 per cent for used textiles and garments and 15 per cent for new textiles and garments imported into the country. She commended the government for coming out with the PSI to enable the country derive enough foreign exchange and minimise the amount used in importing textiles and garments.
Ms Margaret L Bishop, Director of West Africa Trade Hub, called on businessmen and women not to discount opportunities in the local market in the rush to enter the US market. She said, "for those who succeed, supplying the US market could mean important job creation and other economic benefits but that success does not come easily and while it was a good goal for some, it may be unrealistic for others".