Kofi Boateng, Managing Director of Tex Styles Ghana — owner of the GTP brand of textiles, has called for enforcement of import controls to minimise smuggling of textile goods and curtail the menace of counterfeiting.
“In addition to the macro-economic challenges, we face the frightening menace of counterfeiting and smuggling of our products and brands,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion of the company’s Golden Jubilee launch in Tema recently, Mr. Boateng noted that GTP is essentially in the business of selling designs & colours, not just fabrics.
“When these well thought through and crafted designs, colour combinations and sometimes brand logos/labels are copied, counterfeited and smuggled into the country at ridiculously low prices, it becomes a real challenge to deal with. This menace is our biggest challenge,” he said.
He added that this menace has greatly curtailed the contributions that GTP can make to the economy, in terms of increased employment, foreign currency earnings and taxation; and thus he is calling on government to act swiftly before another surviving textile company goes under.
In order to keep GTP in business and promote local production, Mr. Boateng also called for enforcement of local sourcing, whereby government and its agencies and institutions will source fabrics from local factories.
He went a step further to suggest that in order to make the ‘Made in Ghana’ campaign successful, “we believe that together with MOTI we can extend the Friday Wear campaign to Every Day Wear. This will greatly help the textile industry and tailoring sector.”
Mr. Boateng also called for the saving of Volta Star Textile Limited, a supplier of raw materials to other textile firms that is not delivering the volumes GTP orders from it, thereby endangering the business of GTP.
“We wish to appeal for the Ministry of Trade to take some urgent steps and save Volta Star from collapse.”
Despite the challenges confronting GTP, Mr. Boateng stated some activities the company is undertaking to stay ahead of competition. He touched on continuous investment and improvement programmes.
“The company continues to invest in staff skills and competencies, plant and equipment and processes in order to be cost-efficient and more productive,” he said. He added that creativity and innovation continues to be at the forefront for the company. He said GTP also empowers consumers.
“GTP in 2015 introduced a new value added service called the GTP Authentication Service to help empower consumers to determine fairly easily if the GTP product they buy is genuine or not. It is a mobile phone-based application. This innovation was introduced in collaboration with a Ghanaian Technology firm, mPedigree.”
Mr. Boateng also acknowledged the support of parent company, Vlisco. Touching on the future outlook of the company, Mr. Boateng said GTP is looking forward to the next 50 years with a lot of hope.
“We believe in Ghana and the huge potential in African Fashion. We believe African Fashion will be the next big thing on the global fashion stage, and we are positioning ourselves to take full advantage of this emerging trend,” he said.