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China not to renew curbs on textile exports to S.Africa
16
Sep '09
The Chinese authorities do not plan to renew a two year voluntary ban imposed on exports of textile and clothing to South Africa. The voluntary ban was imposed in response to South African union activists, who were protesting against cheap imports from China.

The Chinese ambassador to South Africa, Mr Zhong Jianhua said the quotas, whose validity ended at the start of 2009, had failed to bring about any improvement in the competitiveness of the country's textile sector, and so it would be pointless to renew them further.

He added by saying that Zhong said that although textile exports to South Africa only accounted for one percent of all such shipments out of China, any extension of the restrictions would send a major "symbolic message" to an industry that employs millions.

Quotas on Chinese textile and clothing imports came into effect in January 2007 in response to union complaints and at that time, retailers had warned about higher prices that would result from blocking Chinese textiles and the central bank had warned of inflationary pressures.

Meanwhile the South African Clothing and Textile Union (SACTWU) launched a nation-wide strike involving as many as 60,000 workers on Tuesday to demand an above-inflation pay increase of between 7.9 and 11.5 percent.

The South African government had assured of providing cheap loans to textile firms to help them compete internationally, and promised to crack down on illegal imports that have forced several South African companies out of business and made others, cut jobs.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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