Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive on Tuesday warned traders to desist from selling or displaying pirated Ghanaians textiles on the market.
He asked the public to report importers and distributors of pirated textiles to the AMA and or the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“If we do not intervene, our textile industry would continuously be affected and employment in Ghana would suffer,” he added.
Dr Vanderpuije gave the warning at a forum to sensitise traders on directives on the seizure and disposal of pirated Ghanaian textile designs in Accra.
The forum was attended by textile manufactures, importers, distributors and members of Textile Garment and Leather Employees Union.
Dr Vanderpuije noted that the textile industry, which was at the peak of its glory, was employing over 30,000 workers and it involved more than 50,000 distributors.
However, the Accra Mayor noted that the influx of the pirated textiles had thrown many out of jobs, but stressed the need to protect “modern easy money making and shameful acts against the industry.”
He said pirating of designs had become so rampant to the extent that some traders boldly displayed both the imported pirated and original textiles made in Ghana and recommended, which should be patronised by consumers.
“By this singular act, those involved have brought shame not only unto themselves but to Ghana as a whole,” he added.
The forum was to address pirating textile, however, Dr Vanderpuije admonished all dealers in counterfeited goods such as electrical cables, electronic gadgets and other items to stop this practice.
He said government was not permitted under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement to allow such goods to be imported into the country adding, “not only would it be illegal but amounted to government shooting itself in the foot”.
“It is our expectation that Ghanaians would fully support our endeavour to create a level playing field for both foreigners and Ghanaians to operate without any interference,” he added.
Dr Vanderpuije said government would support cotton farmers to produce enough raw materials to feed local manufacturers to ensure competitive textile industry.
He urged stakeholders to ensure that legitimate business occurred at all times to enjoy lawful means of revenue and livelihood.
Mr Appiah Doryinah, Acting Director of Import and Export, Ministry of Trade and Industry, entreated stakeholders not only to eschew selling pirated textile products, but they should report importers and distributors to AMA and the Ministry.