Influx of Imported Textiles Collapsing Industries

29-03-2018

Influx of Imported Textiles Collapsing Industries

 

The increasing importation of pirated textiles from China is collapsing the local textile industry and threatening the jobs of about 3,000 direct employees in the sector, the Managing Director of Tex Styles Ghana Limited, produced GTP fabric, Mr. Erik Van Der Staaij, has stated.

He said the textiles imported from China, which pirated the designs and logo of GTP and other local textiles, had taken more than 70 percent of the textile market in the country.

Mr. Van Der Staaij said the importers of the pirated textile evaded tax, which made their textile cheaper than the locally produced ones.

As a result, he said, many people patronised the pirated textile at the expense of the local textile whose prices were higher because of the tax obligations.

Mr. Van Der Staaij raised the concern on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 when the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism toured the Tex Styles factory in Tema.

The members were at the factory to familiarise themselves with the challenges facing the textile industry and devise ways of addressing the challenges.

               

Below capacity

Mr. Van Der Staaij said  because of the unfair competition from the pirated textiles, Tex Styles was compelled to operate far beyond its capacity.

Consequently, he said, the company laid off some workers last year leaving it with about 800 direct workers now.

He added that the company might be forced to sack more workers if nothing was done to arrest the situation.

Mr. Van Der Staaij also stated that the piracy was affecting all the local textile industries including, ATL and Printex and that the employment of about 3,000 direct workers of the local textile companies were being threatened by the continuous importation of pirated textiles.

 

No government intervention

The Marketing Manager of the Tex Styles Ghana Limited, Rev. Stephen K. Badu, said the company had discussed the challenges with the Minister of Trade, Mr. Alan Kyerematen.

He said the initial discussion was to have tax stamps on all textiles to compel the importors of pirated texstyles to pay tax.

Rev. Badu said the payment of tax will force the importers to increase their prices to close the huge difference between the prices of original textiles and those of imported pirated textiles.

However, he said, the government was yet to agree to the policy of the tax stamp policy.

Rev. Badu said the government also proposed  the creation of body to control the importation of imported textiles, but it was yet to constitute such a body.

Rev. Badu added that, following another discussion, the government reconstituted a taskforce on textiles but the members were only dispatched to entry points.

He said the government had refused to allow the taskforce to go to the warehouses or markets to inspect the resellers being kept or sold.

 

Committee’s response

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, Nana Amaniampong Marfo, expressed concern about the unfair competition in the textile industry.

Nana Marfo said the committee will follow up on the issue of tax stamps on textiles and the establishment of an agency to control the importation of textiles.

The Ranking member of the committee, Mr. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, said urgent questions will be filed out for the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Minister of Finance, to brief  Parliament on steps being taken to ensure fair competition in the textile industry.

He said the collapse of the textile industry wil lead to the loss of jobs at a time when many graduates were employed.

 

Source: Offline

 Daily Graphic, 23rd March,2018, Page 53, No. 20639

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