Business News of 2014-03-06

Trade Minister charges GSA, others to ensure improved products

The Minister of Trade and Industry (MoTI) has tasked the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and agencies under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to team up and address challenges affecting the standards of goods produced locally.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu said recent reports received by the ministry revealed that products from Ghana were not accepted on the European market because the country was unable to meet minimal technical requirements and regulations.

Addressing a national forum on technical regulations and standards in Accra yesterday, Mr Iddrisu said the report imposed compelling obligations on the GSA and FDA, in particular, to improve on the standard of goods produced in the country.

Objective of the forum

The purpose of the forum was to create a platform for national stakeholders to discuss and promote issues of technical regulations and standards in line with international best practices, with regard to goods produced in the country.

The forum was also designed to strengthen the capacity of MoTI in trade policy analysis and formulation and for the implementation of trade policies and trade agreements.

It brought together representatives of MoTI, the European Union (EU) and a team from the Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling Programme (TRAQUE).

Increased export

Mr Iddrisu said it was the expectation of the government to expand the country’s export from the current USD2.3 billion to USD5 billion, and pointed out that the country would not be able to achieve that goal if it failed to meet international requirements.

He said it was also the vision of the government to diversify the country’s exports, adding that the vision could not be achieved until stakeholders worked together to address the issues affecting the standard of their products.

“We need to identify new markets, and as a result of that the government is currently opening new trade offices in China, Turkey, Japan and South Africa as part of efforts to advance trade investment promotions,” Mr Iddrisu said.

The minister commended the EU for its effort in supporting the economic development of Ghana.

Head of EU delegation

The Head of the EU delegation to Ghana, Mr Claude Maerten, underscored the need for MoTI to put in place an effective framework to support the activities and businesses of the private sector.

He said although the EU was determined to support the economic development of Ghana, there was the need for the private sector to be resourced and equipped to improve its operations.

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