‘Consuming local products will reduce import bill’ – Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has called on Ghanaians to make a concious effort to patronise made in Ghana goods for the good of the country.

That, he said, would help reduce the import bill of the country and improve support for the local industry.

The minister said this at the first in a series of breakfast meetings organised by the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) in Accra last Tuesday.

Dubbed the ‘Power Breakfast’, the meeting brought together Canadian and Ghanaian business entities that form the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce.

Also present were the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Christopher Thornley, and a Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Jonny Osei Kofi.

Aid or trade

Speaking on the theme: “Moving Ghana from aid to trade”, Dr Spio-Garbrah said with the country’s status of lower-middle income, Ghana should be exporting more than it imported to help improve on its gross domestic product (GDP).

He said with the right investment, the country could become the manufacturing hub in West Africa, despite the challenges in the power sector.

According to him, the country had the raw materials and human capital to manufacture goods but it lacked the resources for large scale manufacturing.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New World Investment, Mr Kwame Pianim, speaking on the same topic, said the country needed foreign direct investment in view of its status as a middle-income economy.

However, he said, no country could survive without aid and that trade and aid moved hand in hand, but stressed that trading among African countries was difficult, while it was easier trading outside the continent.

Mr Pianim called for a reduction in the cost of doing business on the continent to help promote trade among African countries.

Support 

The First Secretary (Development) of the Canadian High Commission, Mr Noah Schiff, said Canada was ready to support Ghana to improve on its economy but said the country needed a strong political will to curb corruption.

The President of the CGCC, Mr Salah Kalmoni, in a welcome address, said the chamber was aimed at promoting the interests of members by providing advocacy, business information and networking opportunities and services that encouraged and developed a close relationship and bilateral trade between the two countries.

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