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Workshop On International Trade Held In Accra   
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A day’s Workshop on International Trade and Private Standards was on Tuesday held in Accra.

The workshop was attended by exporters, as well as other stake-holders in the country’s export industry, and it sought to enlighten participants on Private Standards in International Trade, especially the advantages and disadvantages of either failing to live up to the standards or fulfilling them.

Mr Joseph Wozniak, Programme Manager, Trade for Sustainable Development, Market Analysis and Research, of the International Trade Center, told participants that whilst there were Public or Mandatory Standards which were generally to ensure consumer protection against sub-standard or dangerous goods, Private Standards dealt with specific standards that were determined by various and respective consumer markets.

He said there were over 70 private standards operating in more than 200 target markets, certifying products and services in over 60 economic sectors, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, textiles and manufactured products.

Mr Wozniak said there was the need to know about the challenges and opportunities that one faced in the area of private standards, in order to make well informed decisions on their products.

He said meeting International Private Standards requirements was important for Ghanaian exporters, because by meeting those standards, they found more markets.

“The standards are set by the markets themselves so by living up to them; you ensure your own success.”

Mr Mathieu Lamolle, Market Analyst, Trade for Sustainable Development, of the International Trade Center, said some of the products from Ghana that experienced high rejection rates from both the US and European markets were herbs, spices, nuts and seeds, adding that, those rejections were basically due to bad quality packaging, as well as poor quality in the actual commodity.

He said fruits, vegetables, as well as Cocoa on the other hand, hardly experienced any rejection.

Mr Lamolle said that was probably due to the fact that the latter commodities were old export commodities, which made their exporters a lot more experienced in the export market, thus enabling them to meet the requires standards.

Touching on markets which insisted on standards, which were extremely high and made it quite impossible for some exporters to export their products, Mr Lamolle said it was indeed true that some markets set such high standards in order to protect their own interests and block any potential competition “from outside”.

He said the World Trade Organization was working towards enforcing governments who set such extremely high standards, to come up with more achievable ones, in order to make international trade possible for everyone.

The workshop was conducted jointly by the International Trade Center and the delegation of the European Union to Ghana, with the technical assistance of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Source: GNA

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