Local industries asked to innovate

Business News of Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Source: B&FT

The Chief Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nii Ansah Adjei, has called on local industries to effectively collaborate with knowledge-based organisations to bring about innovation in the products and services they offer.

He was speaking at this year’s edition of the Industrial and Technology Fair (INDUTECH 2013) which came off in Kumasi. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) is presently implementing the new Industrial Policy and the Industrial Sector Support Programme (ISSP), which is aimed at revitalising and promoting manufacturing industries to be locally and internationally competitive.

Mr. Adjei expressed the readiness of the Ministry to collaborate with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and other key stakeholders to hold such industry-focused fairs, while calling on the local industries not to underestimate the need to effectively collaborate and strengthen their ties with knowledge-based organisations.

”The Ministry of Trade and Industry has strong conviction that as part of efforts to diversify and expand our export base, particularly non-traditional exports, and international fairs such as this one can serve as a major vehicle to achieve this goal.”

He said the Industrial Policy calls for Government, academia and industrial cooperation, and hoped that all the players involved will be proactive. INDUTECH was organised by the AGI under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and industry, and aimed at creating a platform to showcase made-in-Ghana goods and services.

It also offered the stage for discussions among producers and policymakers to put forward what could be done to provide opportunities for local manufacturers in the face of fierce competition from the global market.

Samuel Apenteng, Vice President of the AGI, noted that the theme for this year’s fair, ”Improving Market Share of Made-in-Ghana Goods: The Challenges of Access to the Markets in a Global Competitive Market’,’ is a wake-up call to all local manufacturers and service providers to rethink how they can easily access and penetrate markets in an integrated global economy.

He said market trends keep evolving, and electronic trading and e-business have shortened supply processes to the extent that consumers have direct access to products manufactured thousands of kilometres away.

Mr. Apenteng was of the expectation that Government will walk the talk and show more commitment to eliminating trade barriers to promote intra-ECOWAS trade.

He said the Ghanaian economy has become vulnerable to the influx of cheap products into the local market through trade liberalisation policies, and rather expects Government to create a favorable business environment that reduces the cost of business operations — which would contribute to making Ghanaian products more competitive.

INDUTECH is a special exhibition designed to showcase local technology as well as locally produced goods and services. It is the biggest industrial fair in Ghana, exhibiting industrial goods, textiles and garments, wood products and other artifacts.

This year’s event brought together over 100 producers (exhibitors) of made-in-Ghana goods and other international exhibitors from the West African sub-region.