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Mauritian textile & apparel makers invest in technology
Jan '13
Textile and clothing manufacturers of Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, have invested in latest technology and restructured their operations in order to ward off low-cost competition from Asian countries, according to an Africa Report story.
The report states that those companies that have cut their costs, initiated vertical integration and set up operations in other countries have benefited the most during recent years.
The number of textile and apparel companies in Mauritius’ Export Processing Zone declined from 272 in 2003 to about 174 in 2012. Accordingly, the number of people employed in the Zone also dipped from over 67,000 people to nearly 42,000 during the same period.
At present, about ten companies contribute 90 percent of Mauritian textile and garment output.
Mauritian textile and clothing sector registered an 11.8 percent year-on-year growth in 2011, according to the Mauritius Export Association. The Ministry of Industry predicted the sector to grow at about 10 percent year-on-year in 2012.
Among the problems faced by Mauritian textile industry are non-availability of domestically produced cotton and lack of enough skilled workers. To overcome these problems, some companies have chosen to set up their factories in other countries where they have access to low-wage labour and cotton.
On the other hand, some Mauritian companies are upgrading production facilities and enhancing efficiency by reducing lead times and are also increasing their focus on high value-added items.
Clothing exports fetched M Rs. 22 billion in 2011, compared to earnings of Rs. 18 billion in 2005. However, the export volume did not increase to the same extent.
Last year, Mauritian and Indian Governments signed an agreement for technology transfer and other ways to improve performance of the Mauritian textile and garment sector.
Meanwhile, the extension of the third country provision in the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) by the US until 2015 would also help boost the island nation’s apparel exports to the North American country.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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