The smuggling of foreign textiles into the Ghanaian market without payment of any tax has made their prices cheaper than the locally-manufactured ones. Mr Justice Asiedu Boateng, Finance and Administration Manager of Akosombo Textiles Limited said that the influx of counterfeit textiles and the incessant smuggling of pirated textile products into the country had taken over the Ghanaian market, which has affected production of the textile industry.
Akosombo Textile Limited has called on the government to institute some control measures at the countryâ€™s entry points to check the smuggling of textiles
Mr Boateng made the call when the Parliamentary Select-Committee on Trade and Industry and Tourism paid a working visit to the company in Akosombo
in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region to acquaint themselves with the companyâ€™s operations.
He said that they are not calling for the banning of importation of foreign textiles but that the smugglers have a responsibility to stop their criminal act and pay the right taxes and duty to make the playing field level to engender competition.
Importers of the pirated textiles not only evade taxes on imported textile prints but also do not provide adequate labelling information on country of origin.
Apart from Akosombo Textile Limited, other textile companies such as Ghana Textile Print and Printex have all shut down their spinning and weaving departments due to cheap imports from China, urging government to help address the situation.
Mr Boateng said that due to the challenges, the companies have all resorted to the importation of gray baft and semi-finished cloth for printing in the country.
Based on the price and texture of the print, buyers could distinguish between the substandard and the genuine textiles since the former is cheaper and usually hard, while the latter is soft and a little costly.
The wide disparity in the product pricing was due to low energy cost and interest rates as against high cost of raw materials and high interest rates in the country.
He commended government for its â€œOne District One Factoryâ€ policy and the stimulus package for existing companies to boost the countyâ€™s industrialisation drive.
Nana Amaniampong Marfo, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism has assured the company that the Committee would channeled their challenges to Parliament for discussion.
There was the need for the government to ensure a level playing field in the textile industry before the local industries collapsed.
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