Ghana’s textile industry – and the Chinese.

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All eyes on Ghana.
And China’s interfering.

What is hiding behind “Made in Ghana” and “Made in China” when it comes to the textile industry?

Let’s go back and look at some decisive history in order to understand the situation better. In the last two decades there were more than 20 textile firms that employed more than 25000 people but nowadays these numbers have shrunk to 4 firms with less than 3000 Ghanaians.

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Why did it develop backwards? Because the once thriving textile market is now flooded with Chinese substandard textile products, which are manufactured cheaper than the local textiles. This forces local companies to shut down their spinning and weaving departments and that consequently leads to unemployment.

According to the General Secretary of the Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Union, Mr. Abraham Koomson,

“The irony of the situation is that, while these cheap imports flood the Ghanaian market, the production companies also steal and imitate patents and trademarks of the local companies, which are often embosses to make them look like they were manufactured and woven here in Ghana.”

What are the consequences? One conseeuquence is what the Ghanaian government invested 650000 cedis in the cotton sector of Ghana in order to help and support against the unemployment.

Well, what is happening in Ghana right now?
A new development can be seen – since Asian countries such as China, India, Malaysia and Thailand have increased their minimum wages, more and more textile scouts are heading to Ghana, just like Mr. Schiffman, director of global sourcing for Itochu Prominent USA LLC:

“Africa for me, it’s the next zone of apparel.”

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How will the textile industry develop and which problems will Ghana have to face in the future?
Since Ghana is a stable democracy now with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the future has brightened for companies since it attracts investors.
But it also faces big problems and challanges, such as lacking expertise and know how or bad efficiency conditions due to power cuts which end up in a forced and undesired break of work.

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