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10.11.2005 Regional News

Kumasi traders call for reduction in import duties

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Kumasi, Nov 10, GNA - Members of the Kumasi Central Market Women Association have appealed to the government to reduce taxes and duties imposed on goods imported into the country.

They have also appealed to the government to check the influx of cheaper and imitated goods from China and Asian countries that are crippling the businesses of Ghanaian businessmen and women. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on Thursday, Mrs Augustina Ofori Amanfo, President of the Association, further called on the government to initiate measures that would help reduce the unnecessary delays at the country's ports and borders caused by custom officials.

She said the influx of cheap and imitated goods, coupled with smuggling of goods into the country were affecting the activities of genuine local businessmen and women who paid taxes to the state. Mrs Amanfo said the association, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary under the theme, "Contributing to the National Economic Growth through Private Social Responsibility; The Role of Small Scale Trader", had been able to mobilize about 250 women traders in the Kumasi Central Market.

She said the association had undertaken various educational programmes to improve the skills of its members in their business activities.

Mrs Amanfo said the association had also provided books and other teaching and learning materials to some schools in the Kumasi metropolis while it had also assisted some needy pupils with school uniforms and books.

She appealed to the banks to reduce their interest rates to enable small-scale businesses have easy access to funds to expand their operations.