The Ghana Employers Association (GEA) has bemoaned the menace of counterfeiting and illegal trade of local products in the country, indicating that it is suffocating the growth and sustainability of Ghanaian businesses.
According to the association, the act of cloning original Ghanaian products and selling them through illicit means erodes consumer confidence in the original brands and eventually leads to adverse effects on the income of the brands.
The President of GEA, Mr Dan Acheampong who made the observation at the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association last Wednesday in Accra, therefore appealed to the government to take urgent steps to check the situation and save local businesses.
“The manufacturing sector, which represents a critical mass of the real sector of the Ghanaian economy is becoming less competitive and this is partly due to illicit and counterfeit trading activities.
“As an Association, we respectfully request that Government provides the regulatory agencies with the requisite resources to strengthen their efforts in combating counterfeit and illicit trade in the country,” he said.
Mr Acheampong also appealed to the government to revise downwards the non-domestic electricity tariffs to help boost industrial growth in the country because electricity is central to their activities.
He said although it is commendable for government to have reduce electricity tarrrifs in March 2018, particularly for industry, Ghana still remains comparatively high on the price index for electricity tariffs in West Africa.
“This means that Ghana still has some work to do in the area of lowering tariffs even further for industrial and commercial users.
“Indeed, it is the GEA’s view that as a country aiming at rapid industrialisation of our economy, we need as a matter of Policy to discriminate some more favour of ‘process’ power as against ‘utility’ power, given the value-addition attribute of the former,” he intimated.
Such a move, he observed, will retain investors who are already located in Ghana and also attract new local and foreign investors into productive sectors of the economy, which will create the much-needed jobs.
Mr Acheampong further urged the Government to, as a matter of urgency, accelerate the pace of developing other cost-effective forms of renewable energy in order to enhance Ghana’s pedigree as the business destination for West Africa.
He said the forms of energy are not only cheap in medium to long term, but are also environmentally friendly.