Li & Fung may invest in Kenya’s Textile City

July 24, 2014 - Kenya

Li & Fung Limited, the world’s leading multinational consumer goods sourcing, logistics, and distribution group, is considering investment in the proposed Textile City which is to come up at the Export Processing Zone complex in Athi River, according to capitalfm.
 
Last month, officials of the China-based company visited Kenya to explore opportunities in the country’s textile sector.
 
During their visit, representatives of the Hong Kong-headquartered company met Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed, who said that his Ministry is making every effort to revive the textile sector in Kenya.
 
According to Mr. Mohamed, apparel manufacturing can create jobs in the short term and help in addressing unemployment challenges faced by the country.
 
Li & Fung specializes in supply chain management of wide range of goods, including apparel, for leading retailers and brands worldwide, and by venturing into Kenya, the company would be able to further extend its reach in Africa.
 
By establishing an exclusive Textile City, the Government of Kenya aims to address the existing industrialization problems at the EPZ in Athi River town.
 
The Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, which is spearheading the setting up of the Textile City, is expecting investment from at least 100 textile firms at the City, resulting in creation of over 200,000 new job opportunities by December 2016.
 
The Textile City is part of the Kenyan Government’s recent National Industrialization Roadmap, which aims at increasing the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by Sh 350-520 billion per year over the next 16 years.
 
At the proposed Textile City, land would be leased to foreign companies for investing in cotton ginning, yarn spinning, production of fabrics and home textiles, and garment and apparel accessories manufacturing.
 
The Kenyan textile industry collapsed in the 1980s, mainly due to the increasing import of second-hand clothing, which led to loss of employment in the sector. Subsequently, cotton production also fell as farmers abandoned the crop.