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US bill rejuvenates garment sector
Jul '09
About 60 garment manufacturers are eagerly looking forward to a comeback and to swell the operations in the country with committed investments of about $480 million and which will result in additional exports of $1.1 billion.

This has come about following a bill filed before the US Congress, which seeks to grant duty-free access to Philippine's apparel in the US market, revealed major garment manufacturers.

The garment manufacturers were speaking at a press conference. They are also members of the Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines (CONGEP) and Garment Business Association of the Philippines (GBAP).

After one or two years of the passage of the proposed 809 Apparel/Pilot Program with the US, these projected exports are expected to be fulfilled. This program also known as the Save Our Industries Act was filed by Rep. Jim McDermott on June 25, informed Mr. Lawrence de los Santos, President CONGEP.

It is expected that the US House Means and Ways Committee will approve this bill by the fourth quarter of current year and will pass it by March or June 2010, said the President. Allotting a few months allowance for the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations, the bill is likely to be implemented by the September of coming year, he added.

It is very much important that the bill is passed during the said period, said De los Santos, since the domestic garment sector has been designated as a distressed industry. The proposed 809 program is expected to bring in $3 billion in extra exports of garments and about 600,000 jobs, said the Chairman of CONGEP.

The estimated 60 new garment manufacturing firms that would be established in the country could generate 210,000 jobs within four years of the implementation of law.

Rroad-shows would also be conducted in Honk Kong and China to allure other manufacturers and buyers to invest and source from the Philippines, said Henry Tan, CONGEP chairman and CEO of the Hong Stock exchange-listed Luen Thai Holdings.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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