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The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan K. Kyeremanteng, has expressed that in spit of government losing huge sums of revenue due to the importation of pirated textiles into the country, the practice is also undermining the sustainability of the local textile industries.

He explained that, there has been increased importation of pirated textiles from China and other countries into the country which eventually killing the local industry and even the jobs of the over three thousand direct employees in the sector at risk.

The sector Minister indicated that, most of these importers pirates the designs and logo of the local textiles companies, which is an infringement on their intellectual property and it’s against the law.

Mr. Kyeremanteng explained that, since importers do not pay taxes,
their textiles are more cheaper than the locally produced ones and thus, draws more people to patronize their pirated textiles. Adding that, most of the local companies are compelled to operate far below their capacity amid the unfair competition.

This paved way for the coalition of textiles workers to hit the streets in the country to protest against the influx of pirated textiles into the country, and also demanded the seizure and destruction of the pirated textiles.

The sector Minister was speaking at a town hall meeting on the textile sector with players in the textiles industry, leadership of the consumers and the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) of TUC in Accra.

According to him, government has issued a three-month ultimatum to illicit textile retailers to evacuate all pirated textile materials from the markets by September 1st, 2018 or face the wrath of the textile task force.

However, at the engagement, all the parties agreed that, there will be a transitional period of three months after the 1st September, which will enable those engaged in the business to clear their stock in the markets, whereby after the three months, any textiles found on the market would have a tax stamp and also should have entered the country through the import restricted channel that would be introduced.

This introduction of Tax Stamp regime on the local textiles, he said will help ensure physical variation and easy identification of pirated textiles. This however becomes important to have a team such as the National Anti-Piracy Task Force at the various borders and entry points to check the entry of illegal textiles into the country.

“It is our hope that, the local textile companies will cooperate with the Task Force by coming on board to make the exercise worthwhile.
It is a national obligation to support the local textiles manufacturers to become more competitive,” the Minister said.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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