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Rwanda's garment-textile exports grow by 83% in 2 years

Nov '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Rwanda’s textile and garment sector grew 83 per cent in value between 2018 and 2020. The growth occurred despite the United States suspending the duty-free status for Rwandan apparel products in 2018 under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) following a decision by Kigali to raise tariffs on second-hand clothes to protect the domestic industry.

Statistics from the ministry of trade and industry indicate Rwanda exported $5.9 million worth of textile and garment products in 2018. By 2020, that value increased to $34.6 million, implying raised volume of garment exports to markets like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgium, Germany and Hong Kong, according to media reports in the country.

The value of garment products DR Congo was $30.4 million in 2020, up from $636,578 in 2018.

According to Utexrwa, the oldest garment manufacturer there, the country has seen a rise in domestic demand of between 10 per cent and 20 per cent since 2018, maybe because most citizens prefer buying local.

When the AGOA suspension came into force, products from a Chinese-built factory at the Kigali Special Economic Zone destined for the US attracted tariffs as high as 30 per cent. But the company, whose operations were acquired by Pink Mango C&D, a Hong Kong-based textile manufacturer, has since ventured into new markets.

Pink Mango now serves several European markets like Belgium, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Turkey, France and the Czech Republic.

Subsequently, the value of Rwanda’s textile products to the United States dropped from $2.5 million in 2018 to just $224,294 in 2020.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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