Business News of Thursday, 21 March 2013
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu, has assured that government will set up an International Tariff Advisory Committee (ITAC) to curtail unfair trade practices in the country’s cement market.
He said the ITAC will particularly address petitions on claims related to dumping and its consequences for the indigenous Ghanaian market, to ensure fairness and agree on a common tariff regime.
Dumping is when foreign businesses operating in one country sell their products at a much lower rate than they do in their mother countries.
This, according to Mr. Iddrisu, is a development that the country will no longer tolerate, in that normally “we open our market to others and they close theirs to us.
“We will have to strengthen our ECOWAS Protocol and agree on a common tariff regime for all players in the cement business,” he said.
He hoped that such a measure would ensure fairness and protect Ghanaian businesses against unfair trade practices.
Mr. Iddrissu gave the assurance on Friday when he paid a working visit to the country’s premier cement manufacturer, GHACEM Ltd, in Tema.
He was received and taken on a tour of the facility by top GHACEM officials including the Managing Director, Mr. Morten Gade; the Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah; the Financial Director, Thorvaldsen Reidar; the Commercial Director, Nana Philip Archer; the Human Resource Director, Mr. Kwamina George; and the IT Manager, Mr. Alan Kerr-Yawson.
Briefing the Minister about its operations, Mr. Gade indicated the GHACEM was concerned with the production of quality cement with local material and manpower.
This, he noted, forms part of a grand effort to contribute meaningfully toward the national development by exploiting indigenous expertise and technologies, as well as create employment for the people.
He touched on the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), observing that the GHACEM Cement Foundation annually distributed free cement to deprived communities to improve their health and educational infrastructure.
Mr. Gade assured Government that his outfit will continue honouring its royalties and tax obligations to the country, in the same spirit that consecutively earned the company the Best Tax Payer award.