Ghana’s industrial sector needs sound fiscal policies that motivate and improve the competitiveness of local manufacturers to ensure their sustainability and survival, says Dr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
Speaking at the inauguration of Wilmar Africa’s US$30m detergents plant in Tema, he noted that the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG’s) sector is under pressure and stiff competition from imported products that have flooded the domestic market, forcing some investors to move their operations to neighbouring countries.
“Competitiveness is critical to the survival of every business in Ghana today, and if we’re able to reduce the cost of doing business and get Ghanaians to patronise locally-made goods, that’s the only way we can become competitive,” he said.
“We will need to further improve our business climate in order not to be displaced by competitors in the single continental market and the global economy,” he added.
Dr. Adu-Gyamfi suggested that government should explore the possibility of creating a special incentive regime to bolster local manufacturing, citing how a structured incentive approach in the automobile sector has seen the establishment of three assembling plants of top carmakers in the country.
Also, in the quest to promote industrialisation, government must make every effort to bring down the cost of electricity, he added.
“Job creation is a major challenge today as we continue to churn out more graduates yearly. The industrial sector holds a key role in creating the needed jobs for the teeming unemployed youth. With all our efforts put together, we’ll make the industrial sector of Ghana great and create sustainable jobs for the future,” he argued.
Wilmar Africa’s new detergents plant will help bridge the demand and supply gap in the soaps and detergents market—with national demand estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes.
The factory will provide about 220 jobs and boost government’s efforts at import substitution, especially in a sector with local capacity for value addition.
Ghana imported soaps and detergent products worth US$40m last year as increased awareness about personal hygiene and care has driven up demand for household cleaning products.