TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Ghana: Garments industry receives $10 million Ghana EXIM support

Friday, 17 November 2017

Source: Graphic Online

The Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Ghana has set aside $10 million to support the textiles and garments industry from the first quarter of next year.

The Chief Executive Officer of the development bank, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, who announced this in Accra on Thursday, said his outfit would also support training and skills development in the sub-sector, since it was one of the government’s 10 industrialisation pillars.

He said the garments and apparel sub-sector was also one of the bank’s key areas of focus, since the bank believed it had the potential to create massive employment for Ghanaians.

Currently, the industry employs more than 6,000 Ghanaians and exports about $30 million annually. The government has, therefore, made it a priority area for job creation.

AGAM inauguration

Mr Agyinsam was speaking at the inauguration of the Association of Ghana Apparel Manufacturers (AGAM), an umbrella body of apparel and garment producers and exporters in the country.

The advocacy and networking association currently has 14 Ghanaian apparel manufacturer members who predominantly export to the United States, taking advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), a non-reciprocal free trade agreement framework in the US for qualified developing countries, including Ghana.

Besides doing advocacy to enhance the operating environment for members, AGAM seeks to further develop the industry and boost exports to about $200 million, creating up to 20,000 jobs within the next four years.

Mr Agyinsam called on members of the association not to look within themselves only but to open up their businesses to partnerships, especially from large and experienced companies across the world.

“As Ghanaians, we usually do not want to open up our businesses for partnerships. But to go international, you have to partner with global players, so that we can get onto the global stage,” he stated.

Trade Minister

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, expressed satisfaction that a vision birthed about 15 years ago to start an industrial transformation in the country was still alive, saying that “this time we have all it takes to succeed”.

He said his conviction was based on the fact that all the critical success factors were favourable.

Those, he said, included an enabling business environment, as the government was committed to private sector support; a strategic framework for the sector which the Trade Ministry had already developed; market access which AGOA, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with the European Union (EU), as well as other bilateral and multilateral arrangements provided, and production infrastructure which the ministry significantly resolved 15 years ago under the President’s Special Initiative (PSI) on Garments and Textiles.

Mr Kyerematen said for the committed entrepreneurs required to take bold risks to make the sector work, AGAM was the answer and that the ministry would support and work with it to ensure the success of its vision and mission.

He pledged that the ministry would work closely with all relevant ministries and agencies to ensure that they played their roles efficiently to ensure the success of apparel manufacturers.

Support

Other agencies under the Trade Ministry, including the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI), took turns to pledge their support for the association.

The GEPA, which already has a garments desk, presented a cheque for GH¢30,000 to support the AGAM Secretariat, with the GCB Bank also supporting it with GH¢12,000.

Ghana, an apparel sourcing hub

The President of AGAM, Mr Gregory A. Kankoh, said with a big global market for apparel, it was the desire of the association to leverage on the advantages in the local market, create synergies among members and make Ghana a competitive apparel manufacturing hub in Africa.

“The US market alone is worth more than $125 billion a year and this is why AGAM is relevant. We see opportunities to use the garments industry to spur growth in the economy,” Mr Kankoh, who is also the CEO of Nallem Clothing, said.

He pledged AGAM’s readiness to partner the government and non-state actors to bring global standards and best practices into the sector to boost its appeal on the global market.

The association is supported by the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other organisations.

 

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