The restrictions can include import levies and the imposition will be prudent, especially at a time that the government intends to build factories in every district, Mr Mattah told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in an interview.
He said when those factories were established, their major challenge would be access to market, hence the need for the government to initiate steps now to restrict the importation of some of those goods.
He bemoaned the over liberalisation of the Ghanaian market, which made it difficult for local manufacturers to compete.
This, he said, required that the country introduced measures to protect the local companies by cutting down on the influx of some products that could be produced locally.
“I think we have over-liberalised our market, and must, therefore, look at the situation and come out with the best regulation.”
“We must protect our local producers as this is important to make us competitive,” he stated.
While admitting that Ghana as a signatory to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement could limit the government from restricting imports, Mr Mattah said: “There are still things that we can do within the law to be able to protect our market.”
He mentioned the imposition of import levies and introduction of import constraints as some options available to the country under the current situation.
Mr Mattah assured that the CIMG would continue to support local companies in the country to market their products and services, while urging them to improve on the quality of the products that they produced.
“Though the market is over liberalised, that is the trade environment we find ourselves in at the moment and so, we should be able to improve on the quality of products that we produce in this country to be able to compete with other imported products,” he mentioned.
He also urged the local companies to take a serious look at how they packaged their products and services, since packaging was a key selling proposition.
“Marketing is not just about going on television and radio to market your products. Packaging is very critical if you want your product to appeal to consumers. Even the way we package our messages should be looked at,” he said.
CIMG’s 2016 performance
In a related development, the CIMG defied the odds in 2016 to post an impressive result.
The institute recorded an income of GH¢190, 570 in 2016 compared to GH¢117,830 in the previous year. This represents an increase of 61.73 per cent within the 12-month period.
While admitting that the institute could have performed better, Mr Mattah said the numbers were encouraging, noting that “last year was a turbulent one and we had to brace up and tighten our belts.”
Its membership also increased from 1,195 in 2015 to 1,260 in 2016.
The president, however, said despite the increase in membership, most of these members remained inactive.
He thus used the occasion to serve notice that it would soon declare some members who had defaulted in the payment of dues dormant.
He said less than 40 per cent of members honoured the payment of dues obligation, making it difficult for the CIMG to undertake planned projects.
“We need to prune the membership list so that those who have not done any business with the institute and have not paid their dues in the last five to seven years will be removed and placed in a dormant category,” he said.