Dr. Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), has challenged the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to flood the market with Made-in-Ghana goods by taking advantage of the high cost of imported goods.
He claims that the current cedi depreciation rate, which has made it extremely difficult to import goods, has also provided local manufacturers with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their ability to dominate the market.
Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, President of AGI, initiated his challenge by calling for the elimination of the benchmark policy on imported goods.
He had stated that the benchmark policy had made imported goods more expensive than locally produced ones, which was detrimental to the local manufacturing sector.
However, in response to his statement, Dr. Joseph Obeng stated that the benchmark value of imported goods is rather insignificant and that the AGI ought to finally assume the role and demonstrate their capabilities in light of the difficulty with the country’s exchange rate.
The President of AGI, my brother, is discussing benchmark value.He has been dwelling on this benchmark; now is the time for AGI to demonstrate itself because the cost of imports has been so high that it has doubled, quadrupled, and tenfold increased.Therefore, local businesses demonstrate your capacity to surprise the market if import prices have increased.
Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to buy your products.That is the only thing you can do.You got the benchmark reduction; all you wanted was to get rid of it so that imported goods would go up. Now that imported goods have gone up a thousand times, why can’t they take the place and take advantage of the opportunity because it is made locally and not imported?
Therefore, Ghanaian-made goods should be extremely affordable once they are no longer imported, isn’t that right?So, ask Mr. Dakeh: How do they portray or advertise the goods they produce in Ghana?Because there ought to be a good opportunity in every bad situation, and since importing goods has become very difficult and very expensive, they need to show off their products because they are made in Ghana and won’t cost much to import.
“He needs to dwell on that.However, based on what he says, even if the benchmark is removed, they cannot guarantee that they will take the market with that.He stated on PM Express on JoyNews, “The benchmark is very negligible.”
“Now we have the opportunity, golden opportunity, please let’s take this opportunity,” he continued.We’ll back them because buying Made-in-Ghana products is the way to go and the right time to do so now that imports are getting more expensive.Let’s buy the product if you can.
Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, President of AGI, stated in response to his challenge that the situation is not as straightforward as the GUTA President seems to suggest.
He stated, “The economic metric is not as simple as to say that once the exchange rate factors are displaying a steep depreciation that are following, therefore all of a sudden the factories in Ghana should rise to the occasion and there and there produce all manner of products.” This is because the economic metric is not as simple as to say that.
He asserted that the introduction of the benchmark value had undermined Ghana’s manufacturing industry’s capacity to embrace and capitalize on such circumstances in the manner Dr. Obeng is suggesting.
“We did say that two things were taking place when this policy was presented;First, you were displacing the developmental paradigm, which suggests that most factories’ capacities were being distorted.In addition, it will be extremely challenging for you to even achieve the opportunity if you lose capacity when it arises.As a result, we advised against this policy, he stated.
He views it as pricing, but it goes beyond pricing.Beyond pricing, economic development paradigms and strategies consider a wide range of issues, including skill development, market sustainability, and other developmental issues.Trading is not as straightforward as “you make money and that’s the end of it,” as he added.
He also said that local manufacturers are also being affected by the cedi depreciation, which forces them to import semi-finished goods to add value.
In addition, you are aware that the depreciation of the currency affects not only traders but also manufacturers. As a result, if the fluctuations in the currency affect us, our cost centers will naturally be affected as well.
“Yes, we import semi-finished products rather than all finished goods because the majority of our businesses add value.Therefore, he stated, “Obeng should realize that it is just naivety to go out into the street and suggest that once the cost of goods rises, local factories should just feed in.”
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