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Nicaraguan textile industry tries to attract new investors
Aug '14
In order to sustain the employment of people working in the textile and apparel industries in Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan Association of Textile and Apparel (Anitec) is ardently attempting to attract new investors, according to an El Nuevo Diario report.

Attracting new investors has become important for Nicaraguan textile and garment industry in view of the possibility of non-approval of the extension of the Tariff Preference Level (TPL) by the United States for ten more years. TPL allows Nicaragua to duty-free export clothing made of yarns and fabrics from third countries, to US for a maximum of 100 million square meters per year.

Executive director of Anitec Dean Garcia said, the Nicaraguan Government is now working on a “Plan B” with the American Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua (Amcham), in case the US rejects the request for extension of TPL.

According to this plan, Garcia said, Anitec aims at expanding the production and increasing investments in Denim Mills Pride plant located in Las Mercedes. The Denim Mills Pride plant is currently in a testing phase and is expected to begin 100% production by next year. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to have annual capacity to produce 28 million yards of denim, from spinning to finished fabric.

Anitec estimates that without TPL the production costs would increase by 40 percent and will affect jobs in factories that operate in free zone, which covers about 30,000 work places.

However, Garcia said, that the industry too has its own plan, based on technical training and productivity improvement, to draw more investment, which is essential to retain employment.

Nicaragua has over 215 free zone companies employing more than 103,000 people, with around 70 percent of them being in the textile and garment sector.

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