Industry has declared its preparedness to partner state agencies to combat the smuggling of pirated and sub-standard goods into the country, as they don’t represent value for money for consumers.
In recent times, equipment manufacturers, rice and textile producers, fertilizer wholesalers among others have all complained of the negative impact smuggling is having on their business.’
The activity of smugglers have pushed the textile industry in the country to the brink, constrained local rice production and led to the proliferation of ‘unsafe’ machinery that artisans use on daily basis.
With textile manufacturer and retailers working with government to combat the menace, equipment manufacturer Bosch is ready to help fight the phenomenon in the power tools sector.
Benjamin Ofori, Country Business Director, Bosch Power Tools, told the B&FT that his company is ready to support state agencies curb smuggling in order to ensure value for money to all who purchase any products in Ghana and prevent price undercutting by smugglers.
“ Government can work closely with us to combat this canker from not only impacting Bosch Power tools negatively but it also impact businesses because a bad tool is not value for money, and there is the possibility of injuring the user.
I want to assure users that Bosch power tools are available in Ghana and we will plead with users to depend on us because by depending on us you will get the solution that will make your life better,” he told the B&FT after a meeting with Bosch stakeholder
The causes of smuggling are varied but largely seen as a means for smugglers to maximize their income by avoiding the payment of relevant taxes and duties.
A study by Zainab Wajid, Babar Aziz and Zahid Iqbal (2014) revealed that increase in tariff burden intensifies smuggling, whereas unemployment rate and trade openness has a negative effect on smuggling for both developing and developed countries.
Wajid et al. found that the “Rule of law and corruption leads to increase in smuggling for developing countries while the same have a negative impact on smuggling in case of developed countries. Education leads to a fall in smuggling for developing countries, while unexpectedly, the same stimulates smuggling in developed countries.
Turning to indicator, the labor force participation rate is positively affected by smuggling in developed countries and negatively in developing counties.”
One of the way to combat the phenomenon, according to Wajid et al (2014) is by giving incentives to work in the official economy and disincentives to operate in the informal economy.”
Bosch to expand operations, engage youth
Mr. Ofori said Bosch Power Tools, a subsidiary of the Bosch Group, is keen to reinforcing its brand visibility this year as part of its strategy. Bosch Power Tools is targeting a 25percent overall growth in sales in 2019.
He said the company’s four-point strategy of affordability, service, accessibility and the building of a strong brand, is expected to help the company deepen its presence in the Ghanaian market.
Working closely with premium distributors, targeting artisans who use Bosch products directly, increase presence in user communities, and the deployment of promoters know as Bosh Rangers in specific zones to identified and provide the relevant support to current and potential users.