The Ag. Managing Director (MD) of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Nana Kweku Dei, has urged Ghanaians to patronise locally manufactured goods to contribute to the economic growth of the country.
He said although industries contributed massively to the development of the country, citizens were lax in purchasing locally produced goods and this was adversely affecting the sector.
“Do not support the economic growth of other countries by developing taste for foreign goods to the detriment of those that are produced in the country,” he said in his welcome address at the GRAPHIC BUSINESS/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting which was held in Accra on July 31.
On the theme: ‘Unlocking economic growth through manufacturing – Cost, Quality and Competitiveness’, the platform brought together industry players and government representatives to discuss how the wobbling manufacturing sector could be revamped.
Speaking on the theme, Nana Dei said the manufacturing sector could only develop if the industry players strategised to meet international standards.
The Ag MD pointed out that the importance of the manufacturing sector could not be underestimated as it was a key ingredient to drive the economy.
He said the issues confronting the sector were, however, due to low patronage of the local goods.
He noted that the sector served as a source of employment for both skilled and unskilled labour, and was used to mobilise funds for developmental projects, provide basic social amenities to communities in which they operated, among others.
He, therefore, called on industry players and the government not to compromise the activity of the manufacturing sector and advised the general public to patronise made-in-Ghana goods.
The Director of the Acquatic World Industries Limited, Ms Mabel Quarshie, highlighted that the cumbersome process in obtaining licences, difficulty in market penetration, high cost of utility bills, lack of access to credit facilities and the high exchange rate were some of the challenges the sector faced.
“The manufacturing industry is faced with lots of challenges, such as the influx of foreign goods, high interest rate, unhealthy competition and expensive port charges,” she added.
“Most of the raw materials to feed the industry are imported since most of them are not produced in the country. It is, however, challenging to import raw materials due to the high import charges,” she indicated.
Some participants in the event who spoke with the news paper also called on the government to implement policies that would encourage more youth to venture into the manufacturing sector to help solve the issue of unemployment in the country.
According to the participants, the private sector needed the support of the government in order to operate effectively.
The GRAPHIC BUSINESS/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting is a forum that brings industry players from the various sectors of the economy to deliberate on the important issues of the economy. The forum is organised every three months.