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Experts seek extension of AGOA's third-country clause

May 20, 2011 (Zambia)

Ahead of a Minister's Meeting, a mid-term review meeting of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Luaska recently.

Experts at this review meeting, suggested to extend the third-country fabric clause for 10 years, and also requested the US to extend its support to Africa on sanitary matters.

They claimed that, if the third country clause in the AGOA which is set to expire in 2012 is not extended, it would cause the African nations to suffer adversely.

Professor Festus Fajana, African Union Expert on Trade Policy in his presentation too, said that the clause should be extended, while representatives of all the 20 countries attending the meeting extended their support to his presentation.

Fajana said that, a study undertaken in the East, West and South Africa is indicative of the need to make AGOA permanent and extend the third country fabric clause for 10 years to boost the country's cotton capacity.

The African Ministers stressed to push for the extension of the third country clause beyond 2012 and even the AGOA agreement beyond 2015.

As stated by the US, from September 2012 onwards it would not allow import of those garments, which exporting countries have produced by sourcing raw materials from a third country.

As stated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), there is a need to revise the Rules of Origin (RoO), so as to help the African countries to continue manufacturing products at competitive rates by procuring raw materials at low-cost from other countries.

UNECA Chief of Trade and International Negotiations, Dr Stephen Karingi here said that, in order to encourage creation of value chain in the Sub-Sahara African region, the RoO should be revised to allow textile industries in the region to source low-cost raw materials from nations across the world.

He said that, the countries qualifying under the AGOA should rise above the supply-side constraints by reducing and easing the customs procedures and obligations and by establishing national focal points.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India
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