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General News of Thursday, 14 January 1999

Source: --

Sessional address: Made-in-Ghana goods

Accra (Greater Accra), 14 Jan. '99 -

President Jerry John Rawlings announced today that the government will start implementing a new promotional strategy for Made-In-Ghana goods.

Under the programme, ministries and district assemblies will be required to source their purchases from local industries first.

Opening the Third Session of the Second Parliament of the Fourth Republic, the President said the programme ''is to help boost the market share of local industries and enhance their competitiveness''.

He said the year should also see the beginning of the implementation of the Export Development and Investment Fund to give leverage to the financial institutions to encourage them to lend more to the productive sectors, especially those in the non-traditional export sector.

''Efforts will also be intensified to recover outstanding loans under the Business Assistance Fund. The loans so recovered will be used to partially capitalise the Export Development and Investment Fund''.

President Rawlings said the government would abolish the existing Pre-shipment Inspection (PSI) in the first quarter of the year 2000.

This is in tune with the Gateway objective of achieving trade facilitation through the modernisation of Customs and Ports operations as well as a more effective Import Management Mechanism.

He said PSI will be replaced by a Destination Inspection Scheme which shall have as its key elements, a Selective Inspection Programme based on Computerised Risk Management System, an X-ray Scanning System and a Comprehensive Data Base of transaction values.

''This policy change...will enable Ghana to comply with World Trade Organisation (WTO) definition of values within the context of the special dispensation granted Ghana at the onset of the WTO agreement''.

President Rawlings said the Ghana Gateway Project itself will go into full implementation this year to attract a critical mass of export- oriented industries in the Ghana Free Zones.

The Fumesua Inland Free Port project and the Sekondi Free Port Zone enclave should attract the expected investment this year.

''It is projected that export revenue from Free Zone Enterprises will show an increase of 35 per cent over the 200 million dollars estimated for 1998'', President Rawlings said.