The Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, says he has urged staff of his Ministry to voluntarily wear clothes made from local fabrics to work every day.
Made-in-Ghana clothes are usually worn to work across the country on Fridays, but Dr Garbah wants it to be worn everyday as part of efforts to boost growth among SMEs in the country.
The Minister made this known Wednesday when he delivered a presentation on, ‘The role of SMEs in Ghana’s Economic Development’ at the Graphic Business-Fidelity Bank Economic Dialogue held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.
Dr Spio-Garbrah said lack of patronage of Ghanaian products was one of the challenges facing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
He mentioned lack of access to finance, high cost of finance, and inadequate access to information as other challenges confronting SMEs in the country.
According to him, the inability of many SMEs to internationalise and expand to expand markets was also hindering their growth
However, Dr Spio-Garbrah said government was instituting measures and developing polices that would boost growth among SMEs in the country.
The policies, he said, would help develop a vibrant, productive and competitive SMEs sector to deliver the dynamism that is required for value addition and employment generation.
In this regard, the Minister said a SME unit had been created by the Trade Ministry to be headed by Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, the Deputy Minister for Trade.
According to him, some other programmes aimed at engendering growth of the SMEs sector include:
- Craft development through Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).
- Review of The Export Development and Investment Fund (EDAIF) Act to support manufacturing
- Dialogue to promote lower interest rate and preferential attractions for industry
- Establishment of export trade houses
- Education and training for industrial development
- Development of a web-based product gallery for Ghanaian products
Dr Spio-Garbrah went on to add that the growth of SMEs was a shared responsibility, stressing that while the government will play its part by providing tax rebates and technical assistance to SMEs, the the private sector must also mentor and fund them.
The comments were echoed by the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Julius Debrah, who noted that growth of SMEs will lead to an improvement in the standard of living of Ghanaians and reduce unemployment in the country.
Mr Debrah said it would also improve the collection of taxes and stimulate the local economy.
The Graphic Business-Fidelity Bank Economic Dialogue series is a quarterly forum aimed at facilitating discussions between government and the business community regarding the growth of the Ghanaian economy.