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21.12.2005 Business & Finance

Kufuor inaugurates ATL's machinery

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Akosombo (E/R), Dec. 21, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday inaugurated a new wax printing machinery installed at the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) at a cost of over 950 billion cedis under a partnership between ATL and the United Kingdom-based textiles giant, A. Brunnschweiler and Company (ABC).
This would facilitate production of the ABC guaranteed English wax prints locally and end the practice where the widely acknowledged quality wax was manufactured in UK and then brought down to the country for sale by ATL.
Inaugurating it, President Kufuor called on the textile and clothing industry to work hard to improve the competitiveness of their products on both the domestic and export markets.
This, he said, demanded investing in new technologies and upgrades and the formation of strategic alliances to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
He told the firms to remember at all times that "competition is getting sharper with successful textiles and clothing producers setting new standards of service".
President Kufuor noted that many successful companies acquired their reputation first on the local market, adding; "it must, therefore, be worth our while to look at sub-regional and continental markets as our entry points to the global market".
He said, notwithstanding, the difficulties facing the industry in recent times, it continued to play major economic role in many countries, accounting for a high proportion of merchandise trade and jobs.
He said it was in recognition of this that the Government was determined to make Ghana an active participant in the global trade pointing out that this was underscored by the abolition of the five per cent duty on all imported inputs, including lint cotton. Measures had also been taken to curtail trade practices that threatened the local industry.
President Kufuor said the Government would continue to deepen the process of dialogue and consultation with the private sector to address constraints that still hindered its development. Mr Terry Dickens, ATL and ABC Chief Executive, said it was their target to export over 80 per cent of the ABC wax made in Ghana to other West African countries.
This, he said would secure the future of ATL and create more jobs for the people in the country.
He acknowledged that the market environment was more challenging and said this was evident from their relatively high-cost manufacturing base and called for teamwork to ensure their survival.

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