Patronize Locally Assembled Vehicles – Trade and Industry Minister

The Minister of Trade and Industry , Hon K.T Hammond has entreated government ministries, departments and agencies as well as the general public to patronize locally assembled vehicles to help the local firms to sustain and scale up production, generate revenue, and create more employment opportunities for the citizenry.

The Minister made the remarks when he paid a working visit to some vehicle assembling plants that have taken advantage of the Ghana Automotive Development Policy under the Government’s Industrial Transformation Agenda to set up in the country.

The visit, which was to enable the Minister who assumed office bately a month ago, to familiarize himself with the activities and challenges of enterprises within the purview of the Ministry, saw the Minister and his team visit the Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing Company Ltd. The company is into the assembling of Toyota Hilux and Suzuki vehicles, with a current daily production capacity of four (4) vehicles.

The company was commissioned by President Akufo-Addo in June 2021 and currently employs about 58 Ghanaians. It has since its commissioning produced 600 Toyota Hilux and 100 Suzuki vehicles.

The Minister and his team also visited the Nissan Assembling Plant in Tema, which produces Nissan, Foton and Peugeot vehicles. It has the capacity to produce 3000 vehicles annually. It currently has 59 employees and produces three (3) vehicles daily.

In a related development, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will be commissioning the Rana Motors and Metal Engineering Ltd. Assembling Plant at Amasaman in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra region on Tuesday, May 02, 2023.

The Plant will roll-out the first generation of KIA vehicles proudly Assembled-in-Ghana. These will be the exact same vehicles manufactured, certified and traded globally by KIA Motor Corporation of Korea, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of KIA vehicles.

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New Trade and Industry Minister pays familiarization visits to sector Agencies

Hon K.T. Hammond has been visiting some Agencies under the Ministry of Trade and Industry as part of his first week in office. According to the Minister, who admits that the Ministry is a very technical one, the visitation is part of efforts to make him appreciate at first hand, the structure and internal workings of the Agencies, programmes and activities they are currently undertaking, challenges being encountered, and how his leadership can best aid the successful implementation of their mandates.

The Minister, accompanied by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr. Patrick Yaw Nimo, first visited the Ghana Enterprises Agency, the agency responsible for implementing policies and programmes to nurture and spur the growth of micro, small and medium scale enterprises.

He commended the Management of the Agency, especially its Chief Executive, Mrs. Kosi Yankey Ayeh for coming up with attractive programmes such as the “Young Africa Works Programme”, “Enterprises Development Project”, YouStart”, among other programmes which have been able to attract funding from development partners such as the World Bank, among others and thus taking some financial pressures from central government.

At the Ghana Standards Authority, the Minister entreated management to create a congenial and people-centered environment that will encourage staff to feel at ease in coming to work so as to be able to give off their best. He also called on them to ensure that proper standards are put in place and enforced for Ghanaians to get value for money for products purchased, and also to enable Ghanaian companies take advantage of opportunities such as the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

The Minister also visited the offices of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, the Ghana International Trade Commission (which aims at addressing unfair trade practices such as dumping, and providing appropriate remedies and sanctions where necessary). His last point of call was the National Coordination Office of the African Continental Free Trade Area that seeks to provide the needed assistance to Ghanaian companies to gain market access to African markets, especially as Ghana has invested heavily to be able to host the secretariat of the continental trading body.

Later in the day, the Minister met with some companies under the Government’s flagship One District, One Factory programme to help provide solutions to some challenges being encountered by the specific companies.

Compiled by the Communications and Advocacy Team
Ministry of trade and industry

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Government is providing the requisite support to boost local productive capacity – K. T. Hammond

Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa and Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Kobina Tahir Hammond, is encouraging all Ghanaians, irrespective of their ideological and political persuasions, to rally behind the government as it seeks to put in place strategies aimed at enhanced production for local consumption as a way of building a resilient economy. He said the move will help deliver on government policy on import reduction, with the overall goal of significantly reducing the import bill in order to improve balance of payments.

The Minister made these comments on his second day of assumption of duty, when he met with some investors led by Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, who are interested in venturing into local rice production.

Ghana’s annual import bill, on the average, exceeds US$ 10 billion. In 2021 alone, figures from the Ghana Revenue Authority shows that total imports amounted to US$13.7 billion, with the top 50 non-traditional exports constituting about 30% of the total import bill,

Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong welcomed the support of government for the intended project, especially the availability of an incentive regime to help boost production. He disclosed that their studies have indicated that Ghana has a great potential for an all year-round rice production, through the application of a model that they have designed.  He revealed that a survey of irrigable lands for the project has been undertaken already.

Ghana currently has a deficit of rice supply of about 360,000 metric tons yearly. When completed, the project will be able to account for about 40% of the 830,000 metric tons deficit. It will also create about 30,000 jobs.

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Eschew Backbiting and Focus on Achieving Set Targets – K. T. Hammond

The newly sworn-in Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Kobina Tahir Hammond, has called for a sense of urgency and collective action to move the sector forward.  According to the Minister, although he has a relatively short time to spend at the Ministry, he is ready, with the support of all stakeholders, to leave a memorable imprint.

Interacting with Management of the Ministry as well as Chief Executives of  sector Agencies in his first official day at work, he sent strong signals that what he detests most are acrimony and backbiting – things he see as evils that are inimical to productivity and collective attainment of organizational goals.

The Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr. Patrick  Yaw Nimo, welcomed him and pledged the support of management and staff towards the realisation of his vision.

The Chief Executives of the Agencies under the Ministry took turns to update him on some pending issues that needed immediate attention.

In a related development, Hon K. T. Hammond has also met with the leadership of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA).

In his brief remarks, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, noted that the Association has had good working relationships with previous Ministers, especially the immediate past one, Hon Alan Kyerematen, and hoped it would continue.

He was however quick to add that the meeting was the first time that a Minister had on his own, sought audience with them upon assuming office without a request from the Association.

They highlighted a number of issues that they felt should engage the immediate attention of the Minister, particularly foreigners  in retail  trade in the country.

Compiled by the Communications and Advocacy Team, MoTI

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African Prosperity Dialogue – Kwahu Summit

The African Prosperity Network (APN) in collaboration with The Presidency and the AfCFTA Secretariat has launched its maiden dialogue dubbed the Kwahu Summit on Africa’s Prosperity.
The Africa Prosperity Dialogues, is uniquely designed to offer a strategic and trusted annual platform to drive intra-African trade. It is a platform where the highest political and business decision makers in Africa, discourse and come out with clear, actionable initiatives to enhance trade and prosperity in Africa, aligned with the AU’s Agenda 2063.
This year’s dialogue is themed “ AfCFTA: From Ambition to Action, Delivering Prosperity Through Continental Trade”.
Speaking on a Panel discussion on “Facilitating the Free Movement of People Across Boarders”, Hon. Herbert Krapa– Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry said there should be a political momentum to the ratification of the protocol on free movement of persons. It is highly important because without it, trading under AfCFTA will be confronted with a lot of challenges. The AfCFTA Secretariat should lead the way to get at least 15 member states to ratify the agreement. In the mean time, “low hanging fruits” such as Visa on arrival should be facilitated effectively, he added.
Closing the 2 day event (26-27th Jan. 2023) the Caretaker Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor emphasised the need for African Leaders to address the needs of Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in their respective countries, as they contribute more than half of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). An estimate by the International Finance Corporation reveals that Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) account for about 90% of all businesses in Africa, and provide about 80% of jobs across the continent.
Communications and Advocacy Team – MOTI
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Commissioning of the First Locally-Assembled Suzuki Swift Vehicle

Suzuki, a very well known player in the Automotive Industry, has commissioned its first locally assembled swift vehicle, right here in Ghana.
The ceremony was graced by Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, Caretaker Minister for Trade and Industry. In his company was the Deputy Minister in charge of Industry – Hon. Michael Okyere-Baafi, the Chief Director among others.
In a speech by Hon. Jinapor he hinted that government is working with its development partners and industry players to develop and introduce vehicle financing schemes to make locally assembled vehicles affordable.
Also, the newly inaugurated Ghana Automotive Industry Development Council, made up of stakeholders in the industry, is expected to sustain the long-term development of the industry; and the Automotive Development Centre, which serves as the Secretariat of the Council, will provide Policy Support, Vehicle Financing, Investment and Customs Facilitation, Training and Skills Development, Vehicle Testing and Certification as well as a Showroom for exhibiting locally assembled vehicles.
Compiled by Communications and Advocacy Team, MOTI
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Trade and Industry Ministry Launches Textiles Tax Stamp Policy

Effective November 1, 2022, dealers in textiles will have to affix stamps to their products to certify the legitimacy of the textiles produced in, imported into, and retailed in Ghana. The Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with the Ghana Revenue Authority will lead the exercise. Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, at the launch, stressed that the tax stamp was not a new tax that was being introduced, but was government’s initiative to increase the sector’s profitability. He said they intended to regulate the importation and illicit trading of products to ensure that the right taxes and duties were paid.
Mr Kyerematen said it formed part of the Ministry’s policy initiatives to revamp and restructure the textiles industry and they were introducing a new import management system to ensure fabrics imported were subjected to the payment of appropriate taxes. The Minister said they were also designating entry points for the importation of textiles at Tema, Takoradi and Aflao.“We are poised to revamp the textile industry via these new measures being rolled out to make the industry vibrant and more profitable as it was some years back,” he added.
The Minister said they had been engaging the stakeholders, especially the traders, on the initiative since 2018 and entreated them to comply with the tax stamps directive by ensuring that their products had the tax stamps on them.
Madam Christiana Laryea, National President of the Textiles Traders Association, commended the Ministry for the initiative and promised that the association would support them to revamp the sector.
She, however, appealed to the Ministry to continue to engage and sensitise the traders on the initiative for them to fully comply.
Textiles already in stock before the implementation period will have a blue stamp, whereas textiles manufactured locally will have a green stamp and red stamp for those imported. The Ministry and the GRA will constitute a task force to ensure that dealers in textiles adhere to the initiative.
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Trade Ministry Engages Stakeholders on Implementation of Textiles Tax Stamp Policy

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has held another national engagement forum with textiles wholesalers and retailers on the implementation of the Textiles Tax Stamps Policy. This engagement followed an earlier one with Importers which was held on 27th May, 2022 at the African Regent Hotel, Airport-Accra and forms part of the preparations towards the launch and implementation of the policy before the close of the year.

According to the sector Minister, Alan Kyerematen, the aim of the engagement was to “sensitize and educate the public, particularly dealers in the industry on the introduction/implementation of the textiles tax stamps as part of the Government’s commitment to addressing the challenges of the textiles industry as well as developing the sector to harness the significant gains the sector stands to offer”.

The minister revealed that the local demand for African prints is about 120 million yards per annum, of which the local supply is just about 35% (42million yards), with the remaining 65%  imported. Hon Kyerematen recalled that the local textiles industry used to be very vibrant in the last three decades, but that the influx of pirated designs and gross infringements on trademarks of local textile manufacturers have been identified as two of the key areas which have adversely affected the textiles Industry in Ghana.

Towards addressing the situation, the Minister said in 2018 the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Industrial Transformation Agenda of Government announced Six Policy Measures aimed at finding lasting solutions to the challenges and also strengthening the textiles sector which can create millions of well-paid jobs for Ghanaians, namely:

  1. Introduction and implementation of textiles tax stamps;
  2. Import management systems;
  3. Introduction of Designated Entry Corridors (Tema Port and Aflao Border for textile imports);
  4. Provision of Incentive Packages for local manufacturers to make them competitive;
  5. Attract Foreign textile manufacturers to set up or relocate their plants in Ghana; and
  6. Reconstitute the Task Force to embark on effective market monitoring and surveillance.

The Minister was of the firm belief that these policy measures will lead to the development of the local textile firms to reduce the import of pirated textiles by promoting local manufacturing.

He assured the stakeholders that with the introduction of the measures, importation is still  allowed since the country does not currently have the local manufacturing capacity to meet the total national demand of over 120 million yards per annum. He was hopeful that the policies were going to help streamline the imports of textiles and further ensure that all the players involved in the textiles industry benefit.

The roll-out of the textiles tax stamps has been scheduled for November 1, 2022 and the implementation modalities shall include having textiles stamps affixed on all textile prints traded in Ghana.

Participants used the opportunity to ask questions related to the discussions, from the team from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority-Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Intellectual Property Office and Ghana Standards Authority who responded accordingly.

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Strong and robust logistics support fundamental to successful implementation of AfCFTA – Alan Kyerematen

Minister  of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has called on governments of African countries to put in place the needed institutional and logistical support frameworks to ensure that they collectively reap the full benefits from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

Speaking at the launch of the Africa Guided Trade Initiative in Accra, the Minister stressed that “at our national levels, we should have institutional structures and a programme of action for boosting intra African trade to enable entrepreneurs to produce to take advantage of the huge market provided by the agreement. We must ensure that we have the logistics support to ensure that we are able to move the goods from one country to another”.

According to Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister, the launch “symbolizes that AfCFTA is not just on paper but a reality. And we are moving from talk and negotiations to action. It also symbolizes that governments in Africa who have been involved in the negotiations are now giving way to the private sector to make it a reality,”.

The  guided trade initiative was launched for seven member countries. These seven countries which have signaled their readiness to start trading under AfCFTA were Tanzania, Mauritania, Kenya, Egypt, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Ghana.

Speaking at the same event, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene said at least 96 different products from the seven countries could be freely traded under the rules of AfCFTA. Products approved to trade under AfCFTA include horticultural products, pharmaceuticals, rubber, aluminum kitchenware, sugar, steel, and wooden products. These products originating from Africa will enjoy duty-free and quota-free trading among the partnering countries.

“This is the moment the founding mothers and fathers of the Organization of African Unity have longed (for). We have finally honored and made reality the vision of those who liberated our continent,” said Mene. “We are connecting East Africa to West Africa, North Africa to Southern Africa. Trade will be the driver of inclusivity, creating opportunities for young Africans. So we have taken the first journey today, and I hope in 15 years, we will have succeeded in lifting millions and millions of Africans out of poverty.”

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