The Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Prof. Alexander Nii Oto Dodoo, has given an assurance that vehicles produced by Kantanka Automobile meets the required standards.
He said tests conducted by the GSA at its laboratories on the specification of vehicles assembled by the only local vehicle assembly plant in the country indicated that they met the required standards and were safe to drive.
“We can assure you that the vehicles being produced in the country by Kantanka are of the required standards and we are working closely with them to ensure that they maintain what they are doing currently,” he said.
Prof. Dodoo was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the GRAPHIC BUSINESS/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on manufacturing held on the theme: “Unlocking Economic Growth Through Manufacturing - Cost Quality And Competitiveness" at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra on July 31.
The forum was organised to draw attention to the manufacturing subsector whose fortunes have dwindled consistently over the past 11 years.
The event brought together captains of industry and civil society groups, as well as representatives of the government.
He said the GSA was currently working closely with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to ensure that products manufactured in the country met the required standards to help endear locally manufactured products to consumers in and outside the country.
“We have been working aggressively together to ensure that all our companies meet the required standards so that they can trade and compete, he stated.”
He explained that the two organisations were critical of the quality of products manufactured in the country because aside from protecting the interest of consumers, the competitive nature of trade had a direct link to quality.
“The market place is impersonal, market and trade doesn’t depend on if I like you or not, it depends on the quality of what you are selling so to be able to compete in the market space, be it in Ghana or internationally, you must have the best products which have features clearly defined and are consistent,” he stated.
Prof. Dodoo said despite the high cost of production which had consistently been cited by industry players as a major factor stagnating growth in the manufacturing subsector, evidence available to the GSA suggested that standardised sectors in the country were highly competitive.
“Those sectors in Ghana that have been standardised are competing very well, a classic example is our bottled water manufacturers, and they are world-class and can compete anywhere in the world without stress.
“So until we get to that level where we are standardising and meeting international standards, you can’t export and in this modern world, producing to sell in your local market alone is not the way to go,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, the Senior Minister, Mr Osafo-Maafo, has given indication that in October this year, two international automobile companies are expected to set up their assembly plants in the country to assemble their brand of vehicles for the domestic and West African markets.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) separately submitted to the government about two months ago, which had already been approved, the two companies expressed interest and asked permission to build their assembly plants in the country.
Speaking on how the government was helping to reverse the numerous challenges stagnating growth in the value addition business, Mr Osafo-Maafo said macroeconomic stability was key in the march towards industrialisation.
That, he said, informed the decision to prioritise fiscal discipline which resulted in increased interest from investors in the economy.
An example, he said, was the two big automobile assembly plants that had expressed interest in setting up in the country.
Mr Osafo-Maafo explained that in the MoU that was currently being reviewed was a request that "of course, government buys a certain amount of the cars."
He added that the government had fast-tracked the approval of the agreement to expedite the setting up of the vehicle assembly plants expected to provide employment to the teeming unemployed youth.
When approved, the two firms will add to indigenous firm, Kantanka Automobile which has been commercially assembling its brand of vehicles for the local and international market since 2014.