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Invest in Rwandan silk sector to reap rich returns – MD, Utexrwa

26
Jun '09
Mr Rajendran, MD, Utexrwa S.A
The Rwandan government recently released the annual budget in which it announced several measures which includes zero duty status on imports of yarns. This could mean trouble for the local spinners who are already battling the scourge of the global recessionary trends. A same decision has been taken by the Kenyan government, which has created panic among the textile mills in Kenya.

Fibre2fashion set out on a mission to find out the implications of this decision on the textile sector in Rwanda and spoke to Mr Raj Rajendran, Managing Director of the ISO 9001:2000 certified textile mill; Utexrwa S.A. Utexrwa other then being a manufacturer of yarns, fabrics and apparels, has to its credit, the first of its kind in the world, a vertically integrated silk manufacturing unit, right from cocoon rearing to silk garment production.

We began the interview by asking him as to how the zero rating on imports of yarns will help the textile industry in Rwanda, to which he optimistically said, “It's a good relief to the textile Industry in Rwanda. It helps us (Utexrwa ) and others to develop their businesses. It will help the textile industry to be competitive and be at par with other textiles producing EAC member countries”.

Next we quizzed him on other measures and benefits which have been announced for the textile sector, to which he replied by saying, “Most of the proposals are now based on the Rwanda's accession in the EAC customs Union, therefore it is the uniform tariff that will bring parity in the region”. (The EAC or East African Community Customs Union is a partnership of East African countries).

Next we prodded him to speak about the integrated silk manufacturing facility which they had begun recently, to which he explained by saying, “We have achieved certain levels of proving to ourselves that we are capable of producing silk products in Rwanda with local material to be at par with others in the world's best quality markets. Now we are focusing on developing local cocoon production to meet the expected demands of the market to sustain the needs once we enter the world market in Silk products”.

He added, “We along with other stake-holders in Rwanda are working to establish capacity in the country in the silk industry and we also appeal to investors elsewhere in the world and also in Rwanda to invest in the silk sector of Rwanda to reap a good return for their investments as the silk of Rwanda is one of the best qualities in the world, due to its climatic and soil conditions along with a good government strategy”.

“If we could establish good reeling machines then the quality of silk yarn and thereby the quality of silk fabric produced in Rwanda could be one of the best in the world at affordable prices. Currently there is around 300 hectares of land under mulberry cultivation and increasing it to 1000 hectares is in the advanced stages of planning, with a vision to have 10,000 hectares of land under mulberry cultivation in Rwanda by 2020”, he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion news Desk - India


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