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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Success Of Ghana’s Industrialization Efforts – Let Your Investments Count – Alan Kyerematen

Ghanaians in the diaspora have been called upon to support the country’s industrialization drive by by investing in the Ghanaian economy. This is particularly important as no country has been able to develop without industrialisation as one of its strongest pillars. For industrialization to succeed, however, investment capital from the Diaspora is critical.

Speaking at an awards gala organised by the Ghana Diaspora Public Affairs Collective (GHPAC) in Washington DC-USA, Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, who made the call, said, “We are fully convinced that Ghana cannot succeed in her quest to become an industrialized country without the full support and participation of her Diaspora citizens”

“Beyond the remittances, you send back home to support your families, Diasporans have increasingly become a great source of capital, creativity, entrepreneurship, technology, and knowledge transfer. Diasporans have made us proud in many ways and we intend to leverage your capabilities and networks,” he added.

The Trade Minister lauded the establishment of GHPAC as an opportunity to woo diaspora investments into Ghana to propel growth and development. “Our strategic approach to harnessing the capabilities and network of Ghanaians in the diaspora is based on a number of considerations, including an improvement in the business environment; enhancing the productive capacity of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to produce for both export and local consumption; providing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for manufacturing; and improving access to foreign markets,” he explained.

The Minister used the occasion to express gratitude, especially to the United States for their relentless support and investments towards key socio-economic initiatives undertaken in Ghana over the years. He cited the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as some examples of support offered by the US. “Currently, the United States is supporting Ghana to implement a number of projects aimed at enhancing the Ghanaian private sector operators’ productive capacities to take advantage of numerous market opportunities at home and abroad,” Alan Kyerematen said.

The GHPAC is a nonpartisan, non-profit social welfare advocacy collective dedicated to empowering Ghanaians in the Diaspora. It focuses on civic and political action which is instrumental in helping Ghana achieve its industrial transformation goal.

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UNIDO, EU and government build capacity for 1D1F listed companies in good manufacturing practices

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the European Union-funded West African Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP)  and the Ministry of  Trade and Industries (MoTI) has organised a two days training on Food Safety, Quality standards and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for 30 “One District One Factory “ companies.

Selected Production Heads and Quality Assurance Officers from 1D1F  factories across the country operating in the cassava derivative and fruit value chains took part in the training.

Frederick Gyamera Owusu, WACOMP National Quality Infrastructure Expert, who was the trainer said issues of conformity to standards, product regulations and product safety, in general, have become key considerations influencing the choices of today’s consumers and many markets require products reaching their regions to have acquired certain certification, quality or at minimum, be registered by national conformity bodies.

Mr. Owusu said “the training to improve  quality, hygiene and efficiency of 1D1F enterprises will impact  the quality and safety of final products manufactured by the factories as  GMPs are designed to minimise these risks associated with production and to improve product quality.”

Charles Kwame Sackey, Chief Technical Advisor of UNIDO noted that “WACOMP collaboration with MoTI and the 1D1F Secretariat to train experts in quality assurance aims to build competence and support MSMEs build a robust quality infrastructure particularly for new entrants to improve quality and food safety at processing plants.”

Kofi Addo,  the Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Government’s flagship ‘One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative under the Ministry of Trade and Industry said “the 1D1F initiative seeks to transform Ghana’s Industrial landscape and so this quality initiative between UNIDO and the secretariat is of key importance to Ghana.”

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1D1F: Akufo-Addo Inspects Gh¢9.2m Yam/Cassava Factory In Bimbilla

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 9th August 2022, visited Global Almas Processing Ltd, a yam and cassava processing factory in Bimbilla, in the Northern Region.

Taking the President on a tour of the factory, the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Michael Okyere Baafi, indicated that the company has taken advantage of the available local raw materials in the Nanumba and surrounding areas to process yam and cassava flour for both domestic and foreign markets.

According to the Deputy Minister, Global Almas has land bank of more than 2,000 acres at Bimbilla, and additional land would be acquired as the operations expand with anticipated increase in demand for products. He noted also that the factory produces 1,000 cartons of Yam Fufu Flour per day, under the brand name Almas Yam Fufu Flour, requiring the purchasing of 10,000 yam per day. With respect to the cassava processing line, some 200 bags of cassava flour is produced per day, with the company engaging some 20 farming groups, who have committed themselves to producing for the factory.

Mr Baafi indicated to the President that the total cost of the factory is pagged at GH¢9.2 million, with 60% equity contribution from the Promoter translating to about GH¢5.2 million. The Ghana Exim Bank has also provided a credit facility amounting to GH¢1 million (10.8% of the total project cost) which was disbursed in February 2021.

Global Almas has, thus far, created more than 74 direct jobs including Management, Supervisors, Food Scientist, Laboratory Technician and Maintenance Technicians as well as women who are involved in the peeling, cleaning, bagging, stitching machine attendants and sorting of the yam/cassava.

In addition, over 400 additional Indirect jobs have been created for out-growers, transporters, harvesting team, packaging & handling, sales outlets, etc. Already, the company has signed an agreement with Sinostone Ethanol Manufacturing Company located in Juapong to supply 1,000 tons of cassava chips every month. Another agreement has been concluded with Bofas Company Limited located in Wa for the supply of 40-foot container of yam fufu flour every month for export to the US market.

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Hon Minister speaks at the 14th U.S.-Africa Business Summit

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Alan Kyerematen speaks at the Corporate Council on Africa’s 14th U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech, Morocco scheduled for July 19 – July 22, 2022.

This year’s Summit themed “Building Forward Together” will explore a renewed commitment to both public & private sector stakeholders to building stronger U.S.-Africa trade, investment and commercial ties as we emerge from unprecedented health & economic challenges.
On the sidelines of the summit today, Hon Kyerematen had a successful meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Tanger Med Industrial Zone, Mr. Mehdi Tazi Riffi, aimed at fostering trade relations between our countries.
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Industrialisation drive: 67 Business resource centres built

The country’s industrialisation agenda has received a major boost with the establishment of 67 business resource centres (BRCs) across the country.

They were set up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, under the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP), to support the growth and competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) companies.

The BRCs are providing business development services such as the identification of business opportunities, business plan preparation, facilitation of access to finance/credit and business health check, otherwise known as business diagnostics. Other services include the provision of training in management and entrepreneurship, business counselling and advisory services, productivity improvement programmes and capacity building for institutions.

The BRCs, to be run as profit-making entities, are to be managed by private sector operators under a franchising arrangement with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the ultimate owners of the BRCs. This is to ensure the sustainability of operations and maintenance of facilities of the centres and also the aggressive and guided promotion of business activities in the country.

Currently, 37 out of the 67 centres are in operation, with facilities such as reception areas, offices for staff, business centres/cafés, conference/training rooms, small meeting rooms and showrooms.

All BRCs are connected to standby generators, solar power and boreholes and equipped with information and communications technology (ICT) equipment to support information and communication processes. The establishment of the BRCs was funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Launch

Speaking at the launch of the BRCs in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, noted that many countries, especially in Europe, North America and Asia, had developed their economies by paying more attention to building strong MSMEs that had grown from family-owned businesses into multinationals. “The great nations of this world are not where they are because of their natural resource endowments. If that were the case, countries like Singapore and South Korea would be the poorest countries in the world and Africa would be the richest,” he said. “Those countries are great because of their commitment to the development of entrepreneurs. There are companies that make annual turnover larger than Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product,” he added.

He noted that many MSMEs in the country had not been able to take advantage of international trade agreements signed with leading economies in the world due to some challenges, such as the high cost of credit, weak production and retail infrastructure, low technology adaptation, and inadequate market information.

The Trade Minister said it was against that backdrop that the ministry had, since 2017, been implementing a comprehensive industrial transformation programme to make the country the new manufacturing hub in Africa. To achieve that industrial objective, programmes such as re-aligning REP to provide comprehensive support for MSMEs and 1D1F companies had become necessary, Mr Kyerematen said.

He noted that Ghana was faced with three main challenges, namely: unemployment, low revenue mobilisation and lack of sustained inflow of foreign exchange, which needed to be tackled to put the country on the right path. “Every year, over 300,000 people graduate from our tertiary institutions. If we add this to those who complete second-cycle institutions and those who do not even make it to the second-cycle or tertiary level, nobody needs to convince us that unless we find a structured solution to deal with unemployment, we will have national security challenges on our hands,” he said.

Mr Kyerematen said about 80 per cent of employment generated in the country came from MSMEs and, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana to put together a no-guarantee scheme that would ease liquidity in the banks to support the development of MSMEs. The government, he said, must drive the public sector to provide institutional support and additional development services for MSMEs, saying by doing so, the MSMEs would start paying taxes that would help deal with the problem of low revenue mobilisation. “If the only answer to export revenue mobilisation is proceeds from the export of cocoa, then we may have a problem in this country. We have been depending on cocoa and gold for over a century for our export revenue. It must occur to us that we have to move beyond cocoa. We should mobilise MSMEs to produce for export,” he emphasised.

The country needed export revenue to be able to finance the development agenda and also support the local currency, and that could be achieved if MSMEs were supported, he said.

Other Business Centres

The National Director of the REP, Kwasi Attah-Antwi, said one of the biggest achievements of the REP was the huge innovative institutional legacy that was being bequeathed the country at the district, regional and national levels for the promotion of business development. “The BRCs are for the promotion of business development services, engineering technology development, industrialisation, among others, particularly in the rural areas,” he said.

Mr Attah-Antwi disclosed that aside from the BRCs under the Business Development Service component of the REP, 161 business advisory centres (BAC) had been established in the various assemblies, adding that through the centres, over 93,031 new businesses and 153,275 direct jobs had been created as of December 2021. At the event, the REP signed a memorandum of understanding with the GEA regarding their expected roles and commitment to take full custody of and manage the BRCs under the franchising scheme.

National assets

The Chief Executive Officer of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, described the BRCs as huge assets for the nation’s growth and development. She explained that the centres would provide quality direct implementation support for MSMEs in the country, which would in turn drive the economy and make it more sustainable and resilient.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh further pledged that the GEA, in undertaking its supervisory role over the BRCs, would ensure that the requisite tools to function were provided as expected. The Senior Transport Engineer at the AfDB, Sheila Enyonam Akyea, said the establishment of the BRCs was in line with the bank’s policy of helping to develop the rural areas.

The BRCs would go a long way to support youth and female-owned businesses and develop the skills set required for the 1D1F initiative, she added. Ms Akyea said checks had proved that all resources that went into the establishment of the centres were used appropriately and as intended.

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Deputy Trade Minister launches new VW T-Cross Model

A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Nana Ama Dokuaa Asiamah-Adjei, has launched the latest VW T-Cross brand of vehicle assembled in the country, under the Ghana Automotive Development Programme.
The event took place at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra. The Volkswagen T-Cross is a subcompact crossover SUV and it is the smallest SUV model from Volkswagen.
VW Ghana was the first Auto Company to be registered under the Ghana Automotive Development Programme and launched its commercial activities in July, 2020 to assemble the Polo, Tiguan, Passat, Teramont, Amarok and the Caddy.
The Deputy Minister revealed that since the launch of its assembly operations in August 2020, VW Ghana has assembled and sold about a 1,000 vehicles.
She said with disruptions to the world economy due to Covid-19, Ghana was seeking to take advantage of opportunities that exist within the auto value chain whilst developing a comprehensive Component and Supplier Development Programme framework to attract investments from Original Equipment Component Manufacturers and facilitate among others, the transitioning from Knocked Down assembly to vehicle manufacturing whilst enhancing localisation within the industry.
She said this decision by the Government is to enhance the value of the country’s natural resources including Bauxite, Iron Ore, Petroleum, that directly feeds into vehicle production, which will help establish Ghana as a preferred destination for component manufacturing.
She was optimistic that the attraction of other Global OEMs into the vehicle assembly space would create the conditions necessary to attract these component manufacturers who move with these OEMs to feed into the supply chain.
Hon Dokuaa announced that in the coming months, other OEMs would be completing the establishment of their assembly plants and would join the five (5) registered assemblers under the Auto Programme, a further attestation to the positive response received from industry player towards vehicle assembly. This would help achieve the objective of making Ghana a vehicle manufacturing hub on the continent and secure markets both at the sub-regional and continental markets for locally assembled vehicles.
According to the Deputy Minister, the Government, aside the directive on the procurement of locally assembled vehicle by its agencies, is also putting in place measures that would create the platform for Ghanaians to procure locally assembled vehicle under flexible conditions as it exist in other economies to increase the demand for new vehicles and help renew the national vehicle fleet.
The CEO of VW VW Ghana Ltd (who also doubles as the President of the Automobile Assemblers of Ghana), Mr. Jeffrey Oppong-Peprah, commended Government for the automotive development programme. He said the company was looking to extending its reach beyond Ghana to countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon.
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MOTI commemorates Green Ghana Day

The essence of tree planting is to generally improve lives and our way of living.
The tree planting agenda adopted by government through it’s Green Ghana Project is aimed at enhancing the country’s forest cover as it produces a wide range of benefits to our ecosystem.
This year, Government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources targeted to plant 20million new trees, an increase of about 13million from last year’s target.
At the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Chief Director Mr. Patrick Yaw Nimo led the tree planting exercise with the support of Director HR and other Technical Heads. The forecourt of the Ministry was earmarked for this purpose.
The Chief Director encouraged staff to cultivate the habit of tree planting in their various homes to make the country a better place to live in. Good health is highly characterised by clean air which is a benefit humans receive from plants.
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