Gov’t to establish special Task Force to monitor counterfeit and illicit trade

The government is to establish a new national task force to monitor counterfeiting and illicit trade in the country before the end of this year.

The duty of the task force would include monitoring all sectors namely drugs, textiles, electrical, cables and accessories, electronic items, food, drugs and tobaccos.

The Head of Tariff Advisory Board of the Ministry of Trade Industry (MoTI), Mr Lawrence Osei-Boateng, who spoke to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra, said counterfeiting and illicit trade were increasingly becoming alarming in the country.

He ,therefore, stressed the need for the country to establish a body to monitor and check counterfeiting and illicit trade that was affecting businesses in Ghana.

“This phenomenon ,however, possess major problems in Ghana, one of such is the sale of inferior goods to unsuspecting public which infringes the intellectual property rights of individuals and corporate bodies,” he said.

He noted that allowing such goods in the country posses potential danger to consumers such as fire hazards associated with the use of fake electric cables and the carcinogenic effects of some pirated textiles and drugs, as well as loss of revenue to the government.

“Further, the flooding of our markets with counterfeit goods also serves as a disincentive to innovative products in Ghana. A national task force would be established to curb this menace,” Mr Osei-Boateng indicated.

Made-in-Ghana

Going forward, the Head of Tariff Advisory Board, said Cabinet had approved the Made-in-Ghana Policy prepared by the MoTI to guide the production, marketing, distribution and consumption of locally made products.

“To reduce Ghana’s increasing level of trade deficit, the ministry started the implementation of a Made-in-Ghana promotional strategy to create awareness among Ghanaians to patronise locally produced goods and services,” he added.

He said as part of the promotional process, the ministry developed and launched a Made-in-Ghana logo to be used by Ghanaian firms as seal of quality to boost patronage of their products.

Mr Osei-Boateng reiterated the commitment of the MoTI to promote trade in the country, saying the promotion of Made-in-Ghana is a sure way of assuring investors market for their products.

Support to the private sector

He said the government was championing many policies such as the establishment of the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) and the Private Sector Development Strategy II to support the private sector.

Urging foreign investors to invest their capital in the country, he said the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), had incentive for investors in the form of tax holidays, duty waivers,adding that the Ghana Free Zones Board also supports enterprises in the regime of tax concessions.

He said the passage for the conversion of the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund (EDAIF) into the Ghana Import and Export Bank by Parliament was to boost credit for companies.

“The government is supporting private sector associations such as the Association of Ghana Industry,the Private Sector Foundation and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to make them vibrant,” he added.

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