Sunday, October 19, 2008


THE Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President’s Special Initiatives (PSI), Papa Owusu-Ankomah, has said the flooding of Ghanaian markets with used underwear will not occur if importers are sensitised to standards and trade regulations.
He said in the country’s efforts to facilitate trade, it had failed to ensure that the processes for making goods to conform to standards were followed.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after opening a two-day workshop organised by the Ghana Standards Board (GSB), the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) and the German National Institute of Meteorology (PTB), the minister said from his interaction with some dealers in second-hand or used clothing, he had realised that regulations and standards were not being adhered to, hence the influx of those items on the markets.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah, therefore, urged industry and trade sector practitioners to constantly liaise with the GSB to improve their knowledge, boost industry in the country and trading with other countries.
He said such a liaison would also ensure that only standard goods entered the Ghanaian market.
He said while standards and standardisation shaped the development of industry, trade and the services sector, technical regulations ensured that some mandatory standards enforceable by law were kept.
These mandatory standards under the global multilateral trading system included sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures, as well as technical barriers to trade (TBT).
He said the GSB was the national enquiry point for such technical barriers under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and all partners, in preparing, revising or applying standards and technical regulations and associated conformance procedures, among other things, had to harmonise their actions with those international regulations.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah lauded the collaboration of the three institutions in developing robust standards and quality infrastructure to help enterprises to overcome technical barriers and seize emerging opportunities.
The Executive Director of the GSB, Mr Adu Gyamfi Darkwah, in a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Charlotte Ohene-Manu, said globalisation had brought in its wake the free movement of goods and services that, most often, was to the detriment of the economies of developing countries.
Mr Darkwah said most developing countries had not come to terms with the required standardisation infrastructure, which was a pre-requisite for improved productivity, market competitiveness and export capabilities of the country on the international market.
He said it was for that reason that the sensitisation workshop was being held to sensitise all to the relationship between standards and technical regulation, the relevance of their application and the opportunities of improved markets if they were adhered to.
A consultant for PTB, Mr Alex Inklaar, said the workshop would provide the opportunity for signatories to WTO agreements to fulfil their obligations and expand their trade with other countries.
He said the effective interplay of standards and technical regulations would help protect developing countries from cheap quality goods, while enhancing their ability to freely move good quality goods to other countries.

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