MICHEAL ASARE Yeboah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mckenzie Sport Wear, a Sunyani based garment company has revealed that the problems with Ghana’s textile and garments industry still exist and are getting worse each day and therefore there is the need for the government to find out why the sector is collapsing and why Ghana cannot compete with China in order to find lasting solutions rather than taking a defeatist approach.
The CEO disclosed this to the media at his outfit lamenting on the need for the government to put measures in place to save the local industries from collapsing noting that, the President chose the right platform to trumpet what many people have been clamouring for over the years.
He said patronizing made in Ghana goods does not only promote patriotism, but ultimately provides jobs for many unemployed youth in the country.
He noted that, there has been a decline over the years due largely to trade liberalization policies and programmes, which are making it impossible for Ghana’s textile products to compete with cheap imports from Asia.
He said though stakeholders in the country have made frantic efforts to revitalize the textile and garment industry, this seems to have hit the rocks since the economy is recording a rapid surge in the sale of fake logos and designs of Chinese textile firms on the market while Industry watchers are thinking about the fate of tertiary graduates who pursue Industrial Art programmes with textile option on the labour market as the sector faces imminent collapse.
Mr Yeboah warned of massive job losses within the local garment industry which Mckenzie Sport Wear is not exception if government fails to check the incessant smuggling of pirated garment products into the country.
“China has gradually taken over Ghanaian market with a primary focus on the textiles and garment industry where the growth of its exports constitutes a double agony for the country, “he added.
He believes that the dwindling fortunes can be addressed if the state strengthens agencies such as the Customs Excise and Preventive Service to intensify border patrols while the port operations should be tightened to ensure that cheap imports do not slip in.
“Most of the foreign textiles on the market were smuggled into the country without payment of tax which made their prices cheaper than the locally manufactured ones,” he lamented.
According him, he is not calling for the banning of importation of foreign textiles, but stated that, the smugglers had a responsibility to stop their criminal act and pay the right taxes and duty to make the playing field level to engender competition.
In terms of taxes, he added that, revenue from the local industry is shrinking, particularly, in recent years, a combination of very adverse conditions have made things very difficult for industries in Ghana while the industrial sector in Ghana has for many years withstood many shocks and survived many hard times.
“If this should continue, we will have no option but to lay some workers off to meet the high cost of production due to the increase in electricity and other utilities,” he added.
He, therefore, called on the government to stop politicizing the educational system in the country by determining the prices of various items to the school authorities.