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Botswana garment sector wants extension of AGOA provision
27
Apr '12
Apparel exporters from southern African country of Botswana are pinning their hopes on extension of the third country fabric provision under Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).

They worry that their exports to the lucrative US market would be affected if the third country clause in not extended beyond September 2012.

The garment sector in Botswana imports fabric and other materials from Asian countries to manufacture clothing items that are to be exported to the US, the largest market in the world.

Botswana apparel exporters claim that adequate quantities and qualities of fabric are not available domestically and regionally, which forces them to import the same from Asian countries.

In addition to the third-country clause, the AGOA itself is scheduled to end in 2015. The Act has already been extended from its original end-date of 2008.

The extension of both the third-country clause as well as the AGOA is seen as vital for continuation of jobs in Botswana garment sector.

The AGOA Forum to be held in June in Washington DC is expected to take a decision on the issue. The extension of the third-country clause at the Forum will bring a huge relief to Botswana apparel sector.

Botswana clothing exporters cite cost of export arrangement, cost of compliance in terms of product quality, and ignorance of AGOA at US borders as the challenges faced by them. They hope that these would also be discussed at the Washington meeting.

Last year, Botswana exported a total of US$ 15.5 million worth of goods to the US under AGOA provisions.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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