Business News of 2014-07-26

Trade in pirated designs affects textile sector jobs

The contribution of the textile industry to employment creation in the country has reduced from 30,000 in the 1980s and early 1990s to its current abysmal level of about 3,000 workers.

The outgoing Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said the reduction was as a result of the trade in pirated textile designs and trademarks in the country.

He made this known yesterday when he inaugurated a 17-member reconstituted task force mandated to seize pirated Ghanaian textile designs in the country.

Mr Iddrisu recalled that during a media session with President John Dramani Mahama, there was a decision to urgently intensify education on textile trade and its importation.

The move was to make known the negative impact of pirated textiles on the economy.

In that regard, a national forum on textile trade was held, and, subsequently, there was a nationwide sensitisation programme to educate consumers and traders on how to differentiate between genuine and pirated textiles.

Members of the task force were drawn from the Ghana Police Service, Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Security Council, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Others were from the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Akosombo Textile Limited, Tex Styles Limited (GTP), Printex Ghana Limited, the Textile Garment and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU), Textile Importers and Distributors Association, and Association of Small Scale Textile Producers.

To ensure efficiency and effectiveness, the task force would be duly advised by a former Chairman of the task force, Mr Appiah Donyina.

Mr Iddrisu noted that some of the concerns raised during the sensitisation period were calls on local manufacturers to reduce the prices of their products as this accounted for the pirating of the Ghanaian designs.

Others, he said, were allegations that some local textile manufacturers also pirated designs by small-scale producers, among others.

He said concerns were also raised about why the task force had in the past seized some genuine prints together with pirated textiles.

Mr Iddrisu urged local textile manufacturers to make available their designs in the form of a catalogue to the vetting committee, GRA- Customs and market queens in the leading markets for easy identification of textile designs.

He said the ministry would also, as a matter of urgency, engage Ghana’s embassy in China and the Chinese authorities to check pirating of Ghanaian textile designs before they were imported into the country.

He said the ministry would also reward informants who would give leads for the arrest of ‘big fishes’ engaged in the pirating of local textile designs.

Source: graphic.com.gh
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