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AGOA irrelevant if Govt support not forthcoming -Expert
15
Jan '10
Even if the US government renews and extends the term of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), it will not have any major impact on the textile sector, if the government continues to ignore development of the textile industry in Kenya, said an expert.

The Chairman of the Garments Manufacturers Association, Mombasa chapter, Mr Thomas Puthoor, said that if imports of raw materials are continued, this will help only those countries from which these inputs are imported rather than Kenya.

He said, “We need to build capacities to be able to produce our own cotton and fabric, which will not only increase our speed to supply markets in America, but will also create employment in the industrial sector and help reduce joblessness.”

He added by saying, “Today it is all about speed in deliveries as it takes about 150 days for a domestic company to supply goods from the time the order is placed, but if raw materials are secured locally, the period could be cut by almost half to 60 days.”

As of now, garment manufacturers are importing fabric mainly from India and China, which also compete with Africa for the lucrative American clothing industry.

“There is little to show amongst benefits accrued from AGOA, since from a peak of 44 garment manufacturers in 2007, there are just 10 existing now, as they were not able to withstand competition from Asian countries, due to little or no support from the government,” he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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