June 18, 2024
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We’ll be better off banning selected products than restricting them – GUTA

The Ghana Union Traders’ Association (GUTA), says it is prudent for the government to ban the importation of selected products rather than impose restrictions on them.

President of the association, Dr Joseph Obeng stated that it is important for every country to achieve self-sufficiency, emphasising that the appropriate course of action has become a challenge.

Addressing the media in Parliament on Tuesday, December 5, Dr Obeng stated that the approach government intends to use in building the local industry would be counterproductive.

He observed that the success of other industries is not solely attributed to obtaining permits, saying some locally produced goods are not thriving as expected when similar actions were taken by the government.

“So, the way to go is not restricting it. We have even made it clear that we will be better off that they ban the products rather than to bring restrictions and impediments on our way of trading in this era of trade liberalization,” he said.

The GUTA president further clarified that they would not accept anything that would impede trade facilitation and hinder business growth.

“That’s exactly what we’ve told the committee that they should hold on with this L.I and that would support the government in its quest to increase productivity so that we will patronise same. That’s essentially what we need as a country.”

Dr Obeng further explained that there would be serious challenges if the country does not have the produce or the produce are excessively priced, which may hinder sales to neighbouring countries.

In light of this, he emphasised the urgent need to address this issue instead of imposing restrictions on the goods.

He underscored that achieving the country’s goals requires implementing appropriate measures to ensure clear alternatives are available, especially in the context of importation.

“We are traders, if you say we should stop buying from outside, then you are telling us that we should have access to the produce from within, but if you haven’t had any measures that would give us the comfort and the assurance that we have the goods from within, then we are doing the whole exercise in emptiness,” the GUTA president said.

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