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Zimbabwe adopts cluster-based concept for textile sector
Jun '13
In recent years there has been a sharp drop in the number of people employed in Zimbabwe’s textile and clothing sector, and the Government is now introducing a cluster based concept to put the industry back on track.
Around 27,000 jobs have been lost in Zimbabwe’s textile and clothing sector over the past few years, mainly due to financial woes like working capital crisis faced by firms and invasion of low-cost imported clothing.
As the textile and garment sector’s capacity utilization dropped to 30 percent, the number of people working in Zimbabwe’s textile and apparel sector also decreased from around 35,000 during 1990s to just 8,000 today, Stanslous Mangoma, a senior official of the Industry and Commerce Ministry said while speaking on behalf of industry Minister Welshman Ncube.
The official said the influx of low-prices clothes and textiles, shortage of working capital and strict rules of origin under the Southern Africa Development Community, contributed to further worsening of the situation, newsday.co.zw reported.
To put the industry back on track, the Government is employing various efforts, which include introduction of a cluster based concept for the textile and garment sector under the Industrial Development Policy for fully utilizing the potential of a particular region and develop an integrated industry chain.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has carried out several pilot surveys on geographical and industry-centric approaches, in association with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Secretariat, and has identified Harare and Gokwe regions as apt locations for establishing such textile and clothing clusters, the official said.
The Government is working to draft the incentives that can be provided under Zimbabwe Investment Authority, and is also in talks with its major trading partner South Africa to reintroduce the bilateral trade agreement of 1964, which was suspended in 2007, he added.
In absence of the agreement, Zimbabwe has lost preferential treatment in the form of duty rebate for goods and services, including textiles and clothing, exported to the South African market.
If the agreement comes into force once again, it would facilitate sourcing of raw inputs not produced locally, without any quota restrictions, and also easy observance of rules of origin.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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