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Modern Economy, 2011, 2, 54-61
doi:10.4236/me.2011.21009 Published Online February 2011 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/me)
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
Do Ghanaians Prefer Imported Textiles to Locally
Peter Quartey1, Joshua Abor2
1Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
2Department of Finance, University of Ghana Business School, Legon, Ghana
Received October 2, 2010; revised October 20, 2010; accepted October 26, 2010
This paper ascertains whether consumers prefer locally made textile to imported ones or vice versa and what
accounts for the choice. The study uses survey data of industry, traders and consumers to explain the issue.
The results show that most consumers prefer locally-made textiles to imported ones. More than half of those
who prefer locally-made textiles claimed local textile products are of a better quality. Others claimed they
are more affordable and attractive while a few claimed local textiles are cheaper. This appears to contradict
the country-of-origin effect and the results of previous studies in Africa and other developing countries. Im-
plications for traders, governments and local manufacturers are also discussed. The study provides insights
with respect to Ghanaians’ preference of locally-produced textiles to foreign-made ones.
Keywords: Country-of-Origin, Imports, Ghana
Ghana’s current trade policy, which aims at promoting
accelerated economic development and reducing poverty,
supports two parallel strategies, namely, export-led in-
dustrialization and domestic market-led industrialization
based on import competition. The success of both stra-
tegies depends on the competitiveness of local producers
in both the domestic and international markets. For some
years now, import competing industries have been facing
a number of challenges which are alleged to have inhib-
ited their growth . The key factors usually noted as
being responsible for aggravating the situation have in-
cluded the inflow of un-customed goods through unfair
trading practices, infringement on intellectual property
rights and the importation of imitation products that may
usually carry lower prices to mention but a few. Local
manufacturers of textiles in particular, are those signifi-
cantly affected by these developments.
For instance, while in the mid 1970’s, the textile in-
dustry’s production capacity was approximately 130 mil-
lion metres and employed about 25,000 workers; by
2002, production capacity and employment levels had
dropped to 36 million metres and 2,000 workers respec-
tively . In some African countries where this has hap-
pened, governments have responded to reverse the de-
clining trend. For instance, the Federal Government of
Nigeria in September 2002 took various drastic measures
which included a total ban on importation of all finished
textiles in order to assist the Nigerian Textile Industry
and save it from total collapse. Thus, while the textile
industries in Nigeria enjoy duty incentive of 10%, ex-
port expansion grant of 30% and; 0% Value Added Tax
(VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL),
Ghanaian industries have no duty incentives and export
expansion grant, but rather are made to pay a 12.5%
VAT and 2.5% NHIL on their finished products, thereby,
making Ghana’s products more expensive.
The limited incentive structure has led to unemploy-
ment, loss of government revenue and loss of access to
the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Local
producers of textiles have identified some ‘safeguard op-
tions’ in the World Trade Organization (WTO) stipula-
tions such as Bi-lateral negotiations to limit exports,
emergency measures to limit imports and countervailing
duty which Ghana can take advantage of. Stakeholders
have advocated for certain measures to revive the textiles
sector, namely, removal of duty on inputs for the produc-
tion process; increase in duty on finished fabrics im-
ported; proper collection of duties and taxes on imports;
*This study was funded partially by the Think Tank Initiative (TTI)
Core Grant provided by IDRC to ISSER.
P. QUARTEY ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
seizure of goods which are found to be undervalued,
misrepresented, pirated, copied or sub-standard. Ironi-
cally, while the job losses continue and stakeholders
continue to advocate for a ban on imported textile, Gha-
naians continue to patronize imported textile products.
One may therefore ask, why do Ghanaians continue to
import these products at the expense of local substitutes?
Could price or quality be a factor? These issues remain
the focus of investigation in this report.
This paper uses survey data of industry, traders and
consumers to explain whether consumers prefer locally
made textile to imported ones or vice versa and what
accounts for the choice. The rest of the paper is organ-
ized as follows: section two presents the stylized facts on
the textile and clothing industry in Ghana. The third sec-
tion provides a brief overview of extant literature. Sec-
tion four discusses the research findings in terms of
whether Ghanaians prefer locally made textile products
to imported ones and if so what were the major reasons.
The final section provides concluding remarks and draws
the policy implications of the study.
2. The Textile Industry in Ghana
As at mid 1970’s, about 16 large1 and medium sized tex-
tile companies had been established in Ghana. The gar-
ment industry also had some 138 medium and large-scale
garment manufacturing companies during that time.
However, inconsistent government policies over the
years have contributed greatly to the decline in the sub-
sector’s activity levels. As at 2002, the four major com-
panies that survived the turbulence in the sub-sector were
the Ghana Textile Manufacturing Company (GTMC),
Akosombo Textile Limited (ATL), Ghana Textile Prod-
uct (GTP), and Printex with GTP maintaining the lead in
the industry. The garment industry comprised of numer-
ous small-scale enterprises which took the form of sole
proprietorship and were engaged in making garments for
individuals as well as uniforms for schools, industries
and governmental institutions such as the police, the
army, hospitals, etc, and also for the exports market. The
garment industry however, depended directly on the tex-
tile industry. Investments within the textile industry were
mainly by local firms. A survey of 40 textile and garment
industries within Accra-Tema revealed that only 5% of
these firms were involved in joint ventures with foreign
investors. The rest (95 percent) were locally-owned and
none was solely foreign owned.
Ghana’s textile industry employed about 25,000 peo-
ple and accounted for 27 percent of total manufacturing
employment in 1977. However, by 1995 employment
within the sub-sector declined to a mere 7,000 and de-
clined further to 5000 by the year 2000 . The declin-
ing trend has not changed and employment continues to
decline. As at March 2005, the four major textile compa-
nies in Ghana employed a mere 2961 persons . A sur-
vey of 40 textile and garments industries in 2007 also
confirmed that the situation is getting worse2.
Ghana’s textile industry is mainly concerned with the
production of fabrics for use by the garment industry and
also for the export market. The sub-sector is predomi-
nantly cotton-based although the production of man-
made fibres is also undertaken on a small scale. The
main cotton-based textile products include: African
prints (wax, java, fancy, bed sheets, and school uniforms)
and household fabrics (curtain materials, kitchen napkins,
diapers and towels). These products form the core of the
sub-sector. The main products of the man-made fibres
(synthetics) and their blends include: uniforms, knitted
blouses, socks etc. These are mainly made from polyes-
ter, acrylic and other synthetics. There are also a number
of small firms hand-printing their designs into bleached
cotton fabrics, also known as tie and dye or batik cloth.
Also, traditional or indigenous textiles such as Kente
cloth (traditional woven fabric), Adinkra cloth (tradi-
tional hand printing fabric) and other types of woven
fabrics used for various purposes such as smock making
etc. are proposed.
Total industry output peaked at 129 million yards in
1977 with capacity utilization rate of about 60 percent.
GTP maintained the lead in the industry with an annual
production of 30.7 million yards (includes the outputs of
Juapong and Tema plants). This was followed by GTMC,
ATL, and Printex with production levels of 15 million,
13 million and 6 million yards respectively. Unfortu-
nately, total industry output declined from its 1970 level
to 46 million yards in 1995 but recovered to 65 million
yards in 2000. As at March 2005, GTP was producing 9
million yards, ATL 18 million yards GTMC 2.24 million
yards and Printex 9.84 million yards. A total annual out-
put of 39.04 million yards was produced by the industry
as at March 2005, which translates to an average of
49.4% of initially installed capacity of the four firms.
Thus output had declined from 65 million yards in 2000
to 39 million yards in 2005 (see Table 1).
A recent survey of textile and garment firms in Accra-
Tema indicated that firms have cut down significantly on
output, in fact, more than half (about 75 percent) of tex-
tile and garment manufacturers answered in the affirma-
tive. About 7 percent of this number indicated that they
1Size categories: small-scale (has 5-29 employees), medium-sized (has
30-99 employees), large-scale (employs 100 or more people)
2About 44 percent of industry respondents have cut down on employ-
ment. From the total number of firms that had shed staff, 59 percent
have laid off up to 5 percent of their workforce, 24 percent laid off up
to 6-10 percent and 11 percent have cut down employment by over 70
ercent between 2000 and 2005.
P. QUARTEY ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
had reduced output by up to 20%. A further 32 percent
indicated their output reduced by 21-30 percent. About
21 percent had reduced production by 31-40 percent
while 11 percent have had their output reduced by 41-50
percent and a further 4 percent had recorded over 50
percent fall in output. The rest (25 percent) could not tell
by how much they have cut down on production. The
reasons for the decline in output are varied.
The survey respondents offered several reasons for
cutting down on production; about 44 percent of the
manufacturers who claimed they have cut down on pro-
duction cited low demand for local textile products as the
principal reason necessitating their action; while 15 per-
cent also mentioned high cost of production and 11 per-
cent cited high wage bills resulting in their inability to
pay workers. Another 15 percent blamed the problem
largely on the influx of imitated products from abroad,
particularly Asia and Cote d’Ivoire. Others mentioned
smuggling and dumping (7 percent) as well as lack of
raw materials (4 percent).
Imports of textile have grown steadily over the years.
In 1992, the country imported US $35 million worth of
fabrics and garments. This increased to US$ 57 million
in 1998 and by the first half of 1999, US$ 42 million
worth of fabrics and garments had been imported (MOTI,
2002). It is estimated that at the end of the first quarter of
2005, imported textile prints will have accounted for
48% of total textile prints in the Ghanaian market (Ghana
Employers Association, 2005). The local market is fac-
ing stiff competition from finished imported textile prints
such as calico, grey baft, furnishing materials usually
from Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, China, and most recently
from India and Pakistan. Consumers have argued that
although the locally produced finished fabrics are rela-
tively better in terms of quality, the market for imported
products has increased because the products have attrac-
tive colours, new designs, a softer and glossier finish.
Table 1 indicates the trend in imported fabrics from
2.1. Importance of Textile Exports to Ghana’s
The use of textiles in Ghana is a way of life and it is
rooted in historical and cultural antecedents. They are
used for funerals, naming ceremonies, church service,
and official functions, to name but a few. Textile exports
are an important source of foreign exchange and revenue
to textile manufacturing firms. Textile exports generated
$27.2 million in 1992 and this increased to $179.7 mil-
lion in 1994 but revenue from exports declined consis-
tently thereafter and by 1998, they had fallen to $ 3.173
million. It is worth mentioning that in 2000, Ghana
qualified for AGOA; and exports of Ghanaian textile and
apparel to the US market amounted to $550,000 in 2002,
$4.5 million in 2003 and $7.4 million in 2004. Imports of
US textile and apparel were $8.87 million, $12.73million
and $11.48 million respectively over the same period
The decline in textile exports from 1992 to 1998 (see
Table 2) can be attributed to internal and external bot-
tlenecks. Ghanaian manufacturers of textiles generally
agree that the market for exports is huge, but have reser-
vation about operating in some of these markets particu-
larly within the ECOWAS sub-region due to trade barri-
ers. Some of the trade barriers include among others,
imposition of 20% duty by Cote d’Ivoire (contrary to
ECOWAS regulations), transit tax collected at Benin,
extortion by Nigerian authorities, and the risk of cur-
rency devaluation. Poor packaging by some manufactur-
ers/exporters also serves as a barrier to exports to mar-
kets such as the EU and the United States of America.
Also, poor finishing of products (quality/conformity to
standards), technical barriers, inability of some manu-
facturers to meet export orders on schedule, high tariffs
Table 1. Textile imports by type.
Wax Print Java/Fancy & the similar print Calico (Bleached Fabric)
Year Qty/Vol. (Kg) US$ (000) Qty/Vol. (Kg)US$ (000) Qty/Vol. (Kg) US$ (000)
1997 30,775 106 152,300 406 9,418 41
1998 11,423 571 46,881 204 80,138 601
1999 86,700 2,318 136,634 477 182,091 1,044
2000 135,197 1,313 455,764 1,818 1,034,978 5,247
Source: MOTI, 2002
Table 2. General textile fabric imports & exports (excluding AGOA).
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Exports US$ million 27.18 76.7 179.7 7.703 3.429 5.074 3.173 na
Imports US$ million 34.57 38.28 39.40 42.30 53.35 52.65 56.55 42.293
Source: MOTI, 2002
P. QUARTEY ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
charged in some export destinations of Ghanaian textiles4
are among the barriers to exports to external markets.
The main export destination for made-in-Ghana tex-
tiles as at 2004 included EU countries (55%), the U.S.
(25%), and ECOWAS (15%). The remaining 5 percent
are exported to other countries, mostly Southern and East
African states (mainly South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia,
Ethiopia etc). Textile and garment exports from Ghana
comprise fancy prints, wax prints, Java prints, calico
smock, ladies dresses, men’s wear, etc. The indigenous
textile products like Kente, a special fabric produced on
a traditional loom, Adinkra (hand prints) and smock or
fugu are also exported. Batik or tie and dye fabrics are
also used to produce all kinds of products for the export
markets. These products include: a unique brand of
carefully crafted handbags, casual wear for ladies and
gentlemen, shirts, dresses; napkins, cushion covers, bed-
spreads, chair backs, curtains, toys and many others.
3. Brief Overview of Literature
The country-of-origin effect has been identified as an im-
portant factor explaining customers’ product preference
[5-7]. Reference  define country-of-origin image as
how a product designed, manufactured, or branded in a
developed country is perceived in a developing country.
Reference  argues that the country of manufacture and
product quality strongly influence consumer decision
making in globally available product categories.
The extant empirical literature from developed coun-
tries suggests that consumers in those countries tend to
prefer products from developed countries to those from
less developed countries [10,11]. They explain that con-
sumers prefer products from their own countries first,
followed by products from other developed countries
before considering those from other countries. Normally
(in Mexico), consumers tend to have a preference for
local products in countries where there is strong patriot-
ism, national pride, or consumer ethnocentrism .
Reference  also suggests that consumers prefer do-
mestically manufactured goods and are willing to pay
higher price for them. It is only when imported goods are
of a significantly superior quality that consumers will
move to obtain those.
With respect to developing countries, the existing lit-
erature suggests that customers prefer western to domes-
tic products. Reference [13,14] for instance found that
consumers in the former socialist countries of eastern
and central Europe prefer western to domestic products.
Reference  showed that the price effect was not as
important as the country-of-origin effect in explaining
customer choice in Russian, Polish and Hungarian. Ref-
erence  reported that Mexicans have a poor percep-
tion of local products and they tend to rate American and
Thailand household electronic products above Mexican-
made brands. Reference [15,16] also explain that high
income levels in Mexico account for more preference for
foreign goods. Reference  reported that there is a
great demand for western consumer goods among Indian
consumers. In a study in Czech, Reference  found
that customers had a preference for German products as
compared to products from the Czech Republic. Refer-
ence  found that Bangladeshi consumers signifi-
cantly preferred western-made products, though there
were differences in their perceptions across product
classes as well as degree of suitability of sourcing coun-
tries. In a Chinese study, Reference  showed that
there was huge preference for western products among
the Chinese people. A study by Reference  also re-
vealed that the elite in Pakistan consider country of ori-
gin of products in taking purchasing decisions.
A number of studies have also been carried out in Af-
rican countries with respect to the country-of-origin ef-
fect. Reference  argues that, in economically under-
developed countries, preference for domestic products
tends to be weaker. Reference , in a Nigerian study,
found that the Nigerian consumer obsession with for-
eign-made goods has had a detrimental effect on the do-
mestic manufacturing industry. They found that the
country-of-origin is significantly more important than
price and other product attributes in consumer preference.
Nigerian consumers have a negative image of the ‘Made
in Nigeria’ label, rating it lower than labels from more
economically developed countries. They also found that
the superior reliability and technological advancement of
foreign products are the most important correlates of the
Nigerian consumer’s likelihood to purchase foreign pro-
ducts. Reference  examined the impact of coun-
try-of-origin effects and consumer attitudes towards buy
local campaign initiatives. They found that, the attitudes
of consumers to buy locally-made campaigns can be cha-
racterized as protectionist, nationalistic, and self-interest
In a study on five West African countries, Reference
 investigated the country-of-origin effects in service
evaluation and found that situational personal character-
istics, such as motivation and ability to process informa-
tion, may influence use of country-of-origin attributes in
evaluating a service. Besides, individual characteristics,
such as ethnocentrism and culture orientation, may in-
fluence country-of-origin preference in service evalua-
tion. In a Ghanaian study, Reference  examined con-
4The survey of 40 textile manufacturers cited transit taxes as the major
constraint to exports (about 29%), followed by haulage and high trans-
ort cost (24 percent), extortion at the borders (12 percent), and poo
infrastructure (12 percent). About 18 percent cited some other prob-
P. QUARTEY ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
sumer attitudes towards local and imported products in a
developing country market. They found that the coun-
try-of-origin of the products is more important than price
and other product attributes. They showed that the Gha-
naian consumer holds the ‘Made in Ghana’ label in low
regard relative to foreign labels, whilst superior quality
and con- sumer taste are the second most important rea-
sons for the Ghanaian consumers’ preference for foreign
Clearly, the empirical literature suggests that consum-
ers consider products from developed countries more
favourably than those from less-developed and develop-
ing countries. Following from this hypothesis, this study
is therefore positioned to ascertain Ghanaians’ prefer-
ence for imported textiles to locally manufactured ones.
This present study focuses on consumers, traders and
manufacturers of textiles, unlike the study by Reference
 which concentrated on only customers of rice, cloth-
ing and textiles.
4. Do Consumers Prefer Locally
Manufactured Textile to
The study used secondary as well as primary data on
textile production, imports and consumption in Ghana. A
total of 40 manufacturers of textiles in Accra, 40 con-
sumers of textile products as well as 40 traders of textiles
located in the business district of Accra were interviewed
in 2007 using a structured questionnaire for each group
of respondents. The study adopted a snow ball sampling
technique in selecting respondents from the markets and
face-to-face interviews were conducted. There is no ex-
act number of textile traders in Ghana but we believe
their views will not vary widely across the country. Thus,
40 traders were selected in view of the perceived homo-
geneity of most textile traders. The manufacturers se-
lected included the four major textile traders in addition
to other small-scale operators.
Most of the respondents (traders) were women and
above 51 years. This confirms the perception that trading
in textiles is a preserve for women, who are mainly
found in popular market centres such as the Makola
Market in the city of Accra, Ghana. As expected, most (a
quarter) of the traders have had little or no formal educa-
tion. This reflects the characteristics of the informal -
private sector in Ghana. In terms of age, out of the 40
consumers of textiles interviewed, only 3 percent of the
respondents were below 20 years while 60 percent of
total respondents were within the 20-50 years and 2.5
percent were above 51 years.
Trading in textiles seems to be a very active business;
the majority (55 percent) of the respondents indicated
they buy textile products weekly while about a quarter
(22.5 percent) of them said they buy textile products
monthly. Only 10 percent of them buy textile products
fortnightly. This is an indication of high turnover of
stock among textile traders and all things being equal,
traders should earn appreciable level of margins.
4.1. Preference for Local or Imported Textiles
Concerning taste and preference, interviews with traders
of textiles revealed strong preference for locally made
textiles. More than half (53 percent) of the respondents
indicated a strong preference for local textile products
while 40 percent preferred imported textile products. The
rest (7 percent) were indifferent. Figure 1 presents trad-
ers preferences for textiles. This finding tends to contra-
dict the country-of-origin effect and the results of previ-
ous studies in Africa and other developing countries.
For those who said they preferred buying and selling
imported textile products, about 26 percent of them indi-
cated that imported textiles are quite affordable, 21 per-
cent believed they are more profitable, about 11 percent
thought they are attractive. Only 5 percent claimed im-
ported textiles are of good quality while the rest (37 per-
cent) could not assign any reason for their strong prefer-
ence for imported textiles. About 42 percent of the re-
spondents cited high prices for local textiles while about
22 percent cited low demand for local textiles. About 15
percent mentioned low turnover of local textile products.
About 55 percent of consumers indicated that they buy
textile products occasionally while 24 percent claimed
they buy them annually. About 10 percent often buy tex-
tile products monthly and 2 percent often buy them
weekly. The rest usually buy them quarterly and bi-an-
nually (see Figure 2). This is an indication that, textiles
are mainly for occasional days such as naming ceremo-
nies, funerals, engagement and festivals in Ghana.
Source: Survey Data, 2007
Figure 1. Consumer preferences.
P. QUARTEY ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
As shown in Figure 3, more than half of those who
prefer locally made textile products (53 percent) claimed
local textile products are of good quality (this represents
40 percent of total sample). Others claimed they are af-
fordable (17 percent), attractive (20 percent) while the
rest (7 percent) claimed local textiles are cheap.
4.2. Ban on Imported Textiles
With respect to respondents’ views on placing a ban on
imported textiles, some of them (35 percent) indicated
that textiles imported into Ghana should be banned.
About 65 percent of them did not support a ban (see
For those who thought imported textiles should be
banned, about 43 percent of them were of the view that
the ban would promote the local textile industry, about
31 percent thought the ban could help the local industry
generate more employment. The rest, 23 percent believed
the ban could salvage the local textile industry. According
to those who did not support the ban on imported textiles,
about 46 percent claimed they are cheap and affordable.
About 18 percent of the respondents claimed they are
profitable while 11 percent thought they are of superior
quality. Almost 70 percent of respondents expected to
see a reduction in the price of local textile products,
while 22 percent of them expected to see improvement in
quality and attraction of local textile products. The rest
advocated for a reduction in taxes and avoidance of fa-
For t n i gh tl y
Source: Survey data
Figure 2. Frequency of purchase.
Aff o r dabl e
Source: Survey data
Figure 3. Reasons for textile preferences.
Source: Survey data, 2007
Figure 4. Ban on imported textile.
4.3. Comparing Quality
Comparing the quality of imported textile products with
local textile products, majority of consumers (48 percent)
claimed imported textile products are better, while 27
percent went for local textile products. Only 5 percent
thought they are of the same quality, while 20 percent
were indifferent (see Figure 5).
4.4. Policy Changes
Most of the traders stressed the need for a reduction or
removal of taxes on imported raw materials. Other policy
recommendations include giving the products to traders
on credit, imposing heavier taxes on imported textiles,
placing a ban on imported textiles, making local textile
products affordable, and promoting wearing of local tex-
tile products. For example, 37 percent suggested a reduc-
tion in taxes on imported raw materials, another 27 per-
cent advocated for marketing and promotion of local
textiles. About 13 percent thought subsidies should be
given to the local textiles industry. Only 13 percent how-
ever, called for a total ban on imported textile products
(see Figure 6).
5. Conclusions and Policy Implications
This study investigated whether consumers prefer lo-
cally-made textile products to imported ones and if so,
why? The approach involved the use of micro and macro
data. The macro data was obtained from the Ministry of
Trade and other relevant literature. The micro data was
Localt textiles are
They are similar
Source: survey data
Figure 5. Quality comparison.
P. QUARTEY ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. ME
Reduce/remove taxes on
imported raw materials
Marketing and promotion
of local textiles
Give products to traders
Ban imported textiles
Source: Survey data
Figure 6. Expected policy changes (traders).
obtained from a survey of 40 textile and clothing manu-
facturers in Accra, 40 consumers and an equal number of
traders located in the business districts of Accra. The
study made very useful revelations. The key findings of
the study show that, most consumers prefer locally-made
textiles to imported ones, contrary to the country-of-ori-
Nearly two decades after independence, the textile
sub-sector was the major key player in Ghana’s Indus-
trial sector, contributing significantly to employment and
growth in the economy. However, the sub-sector which
was once the leader in Ghana’s industrial sector has un-
dergone a considerable decline over the years, largely
due to the liberalisation programmes which made it al-
most impossible for Ghana’s textile products to compete
with the cheap imports, particularly from Asia.
It is however estimated that the few companies that
managed to survive operated at just about 5 percent in-
stalled capacity since 1995. Various reasons have ac-
counted for the decline. Some of the major ones men-
tioned include: low demand for local textile products and
influx of second hand clothing; lack of competitiveness
of local textiles against imported textiles due to high cost
of local textiles which resulted from high cost of produc-
tion5; and smuggling.
In view of the current crisis faced by the industry, its
outlook remains bleak and therefore calls for pragmatic
polices that will lead to both local and global restructur-
ing of the industry. Locally, it is necessary that concrete
steps are taken to address the problem of cheap imports,
under-declared imports, wrongly described textile im-
ports, and copied brands, markings, tickets and labels
lead to the recent proposal by government to establish an
Economic Intelligence Unit, including the Ghana Stan-
dards Board, to arrest and punish those engaged in trade
malpractices. In this Economic Intelligence Unit to arrest
and punish those engaged in trade malpractices is timely.
The penalty for those culprits engaging in these malprac-
tices should be severe to serve as a deterrent to other
perpetrators of the crime. Secondly, the unit should be
proactively and effectively managed; otherwise, arresting
the perpetrators will prove elusive.
On the global scene, trade negotiations and fair trade
practices, particularly, within the textile and garments
sub-sector should be made explicit and adhered to. In-
stances of copying brands and other product markings
from other countries should be discouraged. This should
go together with fair trade practices and preferential ac-
cess to markets in developed countries.
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