Review taxes to make local printing more competitive — AGI
Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has ignited calls on government to remove the payment of duty on imported raw materials for printing to make the sector more attractive to local companies.
“We have enough capacity and sophisticated printing firms in Ghana which do quality printing and not just books. Unfortunately, because of the existing policy, when we import raw materials to print, we pay duty.
“However, when we import the finished products, we do not pay duty.
This situation makes local printing more expensive than imported products,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah said.
This development has forced many local companies to resort to foreign countries such as China and India to print materials which they could easily have done in the country.
Many trained printers in the country have lost their jobs because of the present policy which makes the companies they work for, redundant.
While it contributes to creating more unemployment, the state also loses by way of payment of corporate taxes.
Mr Twum-Akwaboah said, “We are not in any way discouraging importation but we think that local production must be looked at.
“We must encourage companies to make efforts to establish here in Ghana and take advantage of the business environment and together with the AGI and stakeholders, we will fight together to make the environment conducive for doing business.”
Propak Ghana 2023
Mr Twum-Akwaboah was speaking at the opening of the maiden edition of West Africa's largest packaging, plastics, food processing and print exhibition, Propak Ghana, organised by Afrocet Montgomery in Accra on Tuesday.
The three-day event provided a platform for about 100 suppliers and service providers to display cutting-edge products and service offerings, showcase the latest technology, bring new companies to Ghana for the first time, act as a unique platform for those more established, and ultimately help drive this integral industry forward.
It also enabled participants to explore the latest innovations and products from leading suppliers from the region, in addition to international companies from all corners of the globe that showcased the newest advances in industry innovation and products that were collectively supporting the local manufacturing industry.
The Regional Director, Afrocet Montgomery, George Pearson, said the objective of the event was to establish Propak as a key support platform for Ghana’s aspirations to increase output of ‘the made in Ghana brand’ and boost its exports in the region and beyond.
He explained that currently, Ghana is exporting a high percentage of its naturally produced products in the raw state, and there was no doubt that value addition could help the country maximise revenue from its exports.
“This approach can ensure Ghana’s plan at transforming its economy from one heavily reliant on natural resources, to a true value-added exports-led economy.
“This strategy cannot be a reality without investment in manufacturing, increasing the use of state-of-the-art equipment and machinery, as well as human capital, since these are key ingredients in ensuring greater efficiency and effectiveness in manufacturing,” he said.
He advised the government to focus on direct investment and improvement in the manufacturing sector to support Ghana’s goal of evolving its economy which is anchored on a stronger domestic manufacturing sector.
That, he said, was very important since it would contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation and crucially putting money in the pockets of employees and employers working in the sector.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, said, “the manufacturing sector was the country’s largest employer therefore we cannot underestimate the sector’s growth to the economy”.
The exhibition, he said, was timely, “especially as we collectively summon the courage to do things differently and challenge antiquated dogmas that we must rely predominantly on imported brands and packaging - and that our homegrown brands are inferior or costly”.