A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, has said Government has decided to designate a day within the week to observe “Fugu Day” similar to the Friday Wear.

The Ministry, he said was holding discussions with some metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives in the Northern Region to identify a suitable day for that purpose.

Fugu (smock) is a type of traditional apparel predominantly woven in the northern parts of Ghana which has gained popularity for its quality.

Mr. Ahenkorah said this at the closing ceremony of the Second Edition of the National Policy Summit in Accra, when he addressed participants on the topic: “Improving Domestic Trade and Promoting Made-in-Ghana Goods”.

The two-day event was held on the theme: “The Industrial Transformation of Ghana”, which featured the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

It afforded opportunity to the various stakeholders, especially the business community, to make inputs into government policies for sustained economic growth.

The Deputy Minister said government would create the necessary enabling environment to facilitate domestic trade as espoused in the New Patriotic Party manifesto in the 2016 General Elections.

He said there was the need to develop more retail infrastructure and domestic markets in every district to enhance domestic trade.

“So the strategic way of improving domestic trade agenda is to create efficient functioning domestic market for the development and distribution of locally-manufactured products,” he explained.

To keep the vision alive, he said government would create a portal to enhance business visibility and made-in-Ghana goods

More than 3,000 products had been listed on the Ghana Trade Portal and in the process of attaching e-commerce where people could go online to purchase any product of their choice, he said.

He said it would inure to the benefit of the country, if manufacturing companies produce more goods for export since that would reduce the pressure on the country’s foreign exchange.

To achieve this objective, he said there should be strict compliance with the existing legislations and regulations on retail trade.

The Deputy Minister mentioned initiatives that would promote domestic retail market including the creation of craft villages and gold streets so that people could easily buy products without much hustle.

He announced that government would establish Commodity Exchange to purchase produce from farmers and look for buyers so that farmers would not have to carry their produce to any market centre to sell.

It would also establish retail chains for made-in-Ghana goods where designated government buildings would be converted into mini-malls to sell only locally-manufactured goods, he said.

Mr Ahenkorah said a law would be passed to ensure that state institutions purchase certain goods and stationery that were produced locally instead of importing them from outside.

The Deputy Minister stated that government would soon inaugurate the Ghana International Trade Commission to regulate unfair trade practices, as well as ensure consumer protection.

Mrs Norah Bannerman, a textile manufacturer, during a panel discussion asked government to ensure favourable electricity tariffs for local producers in order to make them competitive.

She said currently manufacturers in the country were paying about 19 Cents per kilowatt for electricity compared to their competitors in other countries who were paying below 10 Cents.

Mr Kofi Kapito, the Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Rights Protection Agency, asked local manufacturers to produce quality products that meet international standards.

He said consumers reserved the right to make a choice to purchase any product of their choice whether produced locally or outside, therefore, they must have value for money.

He asked local manufacturers to ensure warranty for their products and change them for consumers whenever they detect any defect on purchased products.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh