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South Africa: Help on Way for Cape's Tattered Clothing Sector

South Africa: Help on Way for Cape's Tattered Clothing Sector

Western Cape's ailing textile industry will see a range of programmes introduced to save it from demise, Finance and Tourism MEC Lynne Brown announced yesterday.Twenty-six clothing firms have folded in a year in the province, resulting in 2300 job losses.One such programme will be to set up a sector-cluster programme that will promote efficiencies within and between different companies.Brown said research had been conducted into the industry to see what could save it from "doom".Another proposal is to provide incentives for smaller firms...

17 August 2005
Botswana: Companies Urged to Globalise As US Expo Nears

Botswana: Companies Urged to Globalise As US Expo Nears

Kingdom Business Solutions managing director Patience Adjei says local companies should adopt the globalisation concept to export competitive products and make in-roads into the world's niche markets.Adjei said that business forums and trade promoting programmes such as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) have the potential to diversify the economy if manufacturers elevate their operational platform and upgrade production lines according to global standards. She was speaking as countries brace themselves for the 2005 Africa Expo...

16 August 2005
Botswana Outlines AGOA Challenges

Botswana Outlines AGOA Challenges

Botswana's Minister of Trade and Industry Neo Moroka says that the biggest challenge for beneficiary countries under African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA), lies in diversifying exports from textiles and apparel sectors to attaining global competitiveness and attracting investment.Moroka said last week that the benefiting countries diversification should compete for product lines in excess of the 6,000 under the current AGOA.Given this window of opportunity, the local business community should launch a total onslaught and diversify Botswana's...

15 August 2005
Nigeria Obtains AGOA Certification for Handloomed Textiles

Nigeria Obtains AGOA Certification for Handloomed Textiles

Committee for Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) for the U.S. government has approved Nigeria's application for Category 9 certification' under the AGOA preferential trade arrangement.The approval took effect from August 1, according to Mrs Gladys Sasore, Special Adviser to the president on Export Programmes, who announced this at a meeting with Nigeria Textile Manufacturers Association in Lagos at the weekend.Sasore, who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) said with the certification,...

14 August 2005
Botswana Must Diversify its AGOA Exports

Botswana Must Diversify its AGOA Exports

According to Amanda Hilligas, advisor of the African Global Competitiveness Hub, Botswana’s exports to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, have increased from US4.6 million dollars in 2002 to US20.1 million dollars in 2004. She said that although Botswana has achieved success under AGOA, the majority of exports are in the apparel sector, which is threatened due to the expiry of the system of quotas under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, which ended in January this year. She suggests that Botswana seek...

12 August 2005
Uganda's Tri-Star Exports 144 Tonnes of Garments

Uganda's Tri-Star Exports 144 Tonnes of Garments

Apparels Tri-Star on Monday shipped out 144 tonnes of garments to the US under the AGOA market. This was the highest single consignment the company has exported since its inception three years ago.The 144 tonnes consisted of various articles of clothes valued at $1.3m (sh2.3b).Vijit Ratnarajah, the chief executive, said the exports had been boosted by an order from the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, which ordered for 96 tonnes."The garments have captured the US market due to consistent quality. The export volumes are likely to...

11 August 2005
Textile Sector: AGOA - Its Future in Africa

Textile Sector: AGOA - Its Future in Africa

Five years ago, AGOA was enacted. Its designed objective was to change the US-Sub Saharan trade and investment relationship. It grew out of recognition in both the US and Africa that trade, not just aid, could be a tool for Africa's development.What has been accomplished so far? What lies in the future in this post Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) environment for the textile sector? Why do all the countries ask for the extension of the third country fabric up to 2015? What about the Dakar forum? As many questions need to be addressed.The...

03 August 2005
USA: Government Delays Safeguard Decisions

USA: Government Delays Safeguard Decisions

For the third time in the past two weeks, the US government yesterday announced that it was delaying decisions due on safeguard cases filed against surging textile and apparel imports from China – and that it intends to consult with industry and lawmakers about whether to seek a comprehensive textile trade pact with Beijing.US commerce secretary Carlos M Gutierrez said in a statement that the delay “will allow us time to engage in substantive discussions with our domestic textile and apparel industries and members of Congress on whether...

02 August 2005
Nigerian Private Sector Urged to get rid of Dependence Culture

Nigerian Private Sector Urged to get rid of Dependence Culture

African Round-Table (ABR) executive president Bamanga Tukur, has urged the private sector in Nigeria to jettison its culture of depending on the public sector.Tukur, who is also chairman NEPAD Business Group made the call in Dakar at the just-concluded fourth forum of the Africn Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) organised by the Senegalese and U.S. governments.He said in an interview that the private sector should embrace the challenges of developing the non-oil sector of the economy by engaging in export trade.He said Nigerian...

25 July 2005
Angola to Export Agricultural Products to US

Angola to Export Agricultural Products to US

Angola's deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dario Daniel Katata, affirmed Thursday in Luanda, that Angola has the conditions to exports, in the next years, to the United States of America some agricultural products. Among the products are cotton and fruits such as banana, orange, melon, water-melon and amongst others. The Angolan deputy Minister was speaking to Angop, on his return from Dakar, Senegal, where since Monday to Wednesday, he participated at the fourth meeting of the "African Growth and Opportunity Act...

21 July 2005
Condoleza Rice seeks greater African Farm Imports

Condoleza Rice seeks greater African Farm Imports

The US already buys large amounts of oil from Africa, but both places would benefit from increased trade in an array of other goods, especially farm products, US officials say.US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was opening a brief African visit today with encouragement for African producers attending a trade conference in this western coastal capital.She will also make two stops in Sudan, where a reconciliation government is emerging from two decades of civil war but where a new conflict is killing and evicting tens of thousands in the...

20 July 2005
Big Push to Move AGOA Beyond Textiles

Big Push to Move AGOA Beyond Textiles

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced a new programme to boost African farm produce exports on Tuesday as part of efforts to widen the range of products the poorest continent sells onto global markets.Johanns made the announcement at a meeting in Senegal with the 37 beneficiaries of the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) whose impact in the poorest, non-oil producing countries has so far focused largely on textile exports.He said the joint programme between his U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for...

20 July 2005
Cameroon: Early Fruits of AGOA Harvest

Cameroon: Early Fruits of AGOA Harvest

Two Cameroonian businesswomen, Ndoumbe Roline, president of African Women Arts and Caroline Kemdem, general manager of Brodwell, were last Friday hailed for making in-roots into the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) process. The US Ambassador, Niels Marquardt, expressed his satisfaction during a press conference in Yaounde when the two ladies shared their experiences with pressmen. The conference was organised ahead of the US-sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum that kicked off in Dakar last Monday. Niels...

20 July 2005
Foreign Fabrics Would Give South Africa the Edge

Foreign Fabrics Would Give South Africa the Edge

Unless South African clothing manufacturers are allowed to source fabrics from other countries, the local industry will not be able to reap maximum benefits from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), according to the Export Council for the Clothing Industry in SA.In a statement to the council's members ahead of the Agoa forum currently under way in Dakar, council chairman Jack Kipling said SA's exclusion from the favourable "third-country fabric provision" of Agoa, negatively affected the local industry.The "third-country fabric"...

19 July 2005
Africa: Problems And Solutions On the AGOA Agenda in Dakar

Africa: Problems And Solutions On the AGOA Agenda in Dakar

Poor infrastructure and a serious lack of investment continue to hamper African businesses trying to crack the lucrative US market, a senior United States official told IRIN on Tuesday.African trade experts are meeting with their US counterparts in Senegal this week in an attempt to get more out of the much-touted Africa Growth and Recovery Act (AGOA) enacted by the US Congress in 2000. AGOA is essentially a preferential trade programme covering nearly 6,500 products, from apparel to automobiles, which can be exported duty-free from Africa...

19 July 2005
Mauritius to Lobby Hard for AGOA Extension

Mauritius to Lobby Hard for AGOA Extension

Mauritius would negotiate hard for an extension of preferential access for its textiles in the US market at US-Africa trade talks this week, officials said at the weekend.The Indian Ocean island will lobby for the extension of an accord giving sub-Saharan African nations including Mauritius duty-free import status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a trade agreement between the US and African countries.Under the pact, countries classified as least developed are permitted to import raw materials from countries not...

18 July 2005
AGOA Forum Opens in Senegal

AGOA Forum Opens in Senegal

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade officially opened the African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA) Forum July 18, declaring that AGOA is a "shared vision of partnership" between the United States and Africa that will link Africa to the global economy and make it better able to achieve long-term economic growth and development.In his pre-recorded remarks to the forum, President Bush greeted the delegates and pledged his intention to launch the African Global Competitiveness Initiative, which he said "will give a record number of entrepreneurs...

18 July 2005
African Global Competitiveness Initiative Will Expand Trade Hubs

African Global Competitiveness Initiative Will Expand Trade Hubs

The African Global Competitiveness Initiative announced by President Bush in a taped message to the AGOA Forum July 18 symbolizes the Bush administration's commitment to jobs and long-term economic growth and development in Africa, according to U.S. aid official Lloyd O. Pearson.Pearson, assistant administrator for Africa in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), spoke to reporters the same day.Pearson said the new initiative will expand the three U.S.-Africa trade hubs that are currently operational: Gaborone, Botswana;...

18 July 2005
Namibian Grapes set to Conquer US Market

Namibian Grapes set to Conquer US Market

Tucked on a mountain slope across a road from the barren desert of southeastern Namibia, rows of lush green vineyards are producing grapes enjoyed in Europe, China, the Middle East and soon, in the United States.Temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius in the summer do not deter thousands of seasonal workers from flocking to this hidden corner close to the village of Noordoewer near the border with South Africa to harvest the high quality seedless grapes.From here, the sweet-tasting grapes mostly of the green Thompson seedless sort and others like...

15 July 2005
AGOA Trade Forum in Senegal to Emphasise Diversity in Trade

AGOA Trade Forum in Senegal to Emphasise Diversity in Trade

"Expanding and Diversifying Trade to Promote Growth and Competitiveness" will be the theme of the 2005 U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum July 18-20 in Dakar, Senegal.Better known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, the event consists of three parallel meetings: one with the United States and the governments of the 37 eligible sub-Saharan Africa countries; one between U.S. and African private sectors; and one involving civil-society organizations from the United States and Africa.The AGOA Forum...

13 July 2005
AGOA Forum: Senegal to Host

AGOA Forum: Senegal to Host

The choice of Senegal to host the fourth AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Forum, is based on political and diplomatic reasons, Senegalese Ambassador to Washington, Amadou Lamine Ba, said in Dakar Wednesday.The choice is not linked to AGOA criteria or economic performances. Senegal meets the governance criteria and it is a model country for Americans, " he said during a press briefing.He further underscored that the country's capacity to host the forum is "considered fairly satisfactory'' and its geographical proximity with the...

13 July 2005
USA: Four New China Safeguard Petitions Filed

USA: Four New China Safeguard Petitions Filed

US textile, apparel and fibre producing trade associations yesterday filed four new safeguard petitions covering eight categories to limit the growth of US textile and apparel imports from China. The industry also said that it had refiled a petition on curtains on June 22 that the US government rejected for technical reasons on June 21.The categories covered by this latest filing are: cotton/man-made fibre non-knit shirts (categories 341/641); cotton/man-made fibre skirts (342/642); cotton/man-made fibre pyjamas/nightwear (351/651);...

12 July 2005
South Africa: Investor Glitch Dents Confidence in IDZ Investment

South Africa: Investor Glitch Dents Confidence in IDZ Investment

South African empowerment company ICAN has not applied for the funding of a stake it said it would take in a Coega textiles project, despite saying in May that it was weeks away from securing it.The setback casts a shadow over Coega's first investor.The development zone, established to draw foreign investment, has for years been struggling to tie down investors.At a media conference on May 18 to announce the project to make fire retardant industrial textiles, ICAN CE Paul Jones said Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) funding for his...

11 July 2005
Lesotho's Growth to Lag Rest of Africa

Lesotho's Growth to Lag Rest of Africa

Lesotho's economic outlook is expected to lag behind world and African averages, according to Standard Bank economist Jan Duvenage's mid-year gauge of the country's economy.IMF forecasts expect the economy to grow by 2.4 percent this year and 3 percent in 2006, compared to African averages of 5 percent and 5.4 percent for the same years.Duvenage says growth constraints include food insecurity, soil degradation, lower agricultural efficiency and a high HIV and Aids infection rate.Present growth has been sustained by clothing and textile...

11 July 2005
Guinea Bissau: Cashew nuts a new hope for exports?

Guinea Bissau: Cashew nuts a new hope for exports?

Near a field sown with ageing anti-personnel mines, dozens of women scraping, sorting and vacuum-packing cashew nuts in a new tin-roofed factory may be part of the solution to Africa's economic woes. From Cape to Cairo, the world's poorest continent is blessed with verdant plains, forests of valuable hardwood trees and deep veins of ores. But it's largely bereft of skilled industry producing the finished products - like foodstuffs, furniture and jewellery - where the real earnings lie. That may be changing in Guinea-Bissau, where the...

07 July 2005
South Africa: New Cape Town Factory a R2,5mn Boost for Textile Industry

South Africa: New Cape Town Factory a R2,5mn Boost for Textile Industry

WESGRO has announced a R2.5 million investment in the province's clothing and textile industry with the establishment of a bedding manufacturing plant in Bellville South, Cape Town.Joyce Cheung, from the trade and investment promotion agency's investment promotion department (WESGRO), said it strongly believes that the investment will have a positive impact in a sector severely affected by factors such as the strengthening of the rand and the removal of quotas on clothing and textile imports.She said despite these adverse conditions, the...

07 July 2005
New Mauritius PM wants Sugar, Textiles Deals

New Mauritius PM wants Sugar, Textiles Deals

Faced with twin threats to its prosperous economy, Mauritius's newly-elected Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam said he would negotiate hard for better world trade deals for its sugar and textile industries.In an interview with Reuters shortly after winning elections on Monday night, Ramgoolam said he would plead with rich countries to resurrect accords giving Mauritius preferential access to their markets for two of its most important exports."One priority is the problem of negotiation with the European Union on sugar," he said. "We are not...

06 July 2005
Southern Africa: Textile Industry Undone by Globalisation

Southern Africa: Textile Industry Undone by Globalisation

The textile and clothing manufacturing industry is not a sustainable option for Southern Africa in the long term, according to a UN economist. The sector - one of Southern Africa's few export industries - is struggling to compete in a quota-free global market.Manufacturers have been hard-hit by the termination of the Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA), which came to an end in January this year. The MFA was introduced 30 years ago to protect the textile industries of developed countries by imposing quotas on high-volume producers such as China,...

06 July 2005
South African Airways Helps Forge Africa-US Trade Ties

South African Airways Helps Forge Africa-US Trade Ties

Ties between the United States and Africa have been strengthened with a new South African Airways (SAA) passenger and cargo service - which began at the weekend - linking Washington to Johannesburg for the first time, the US embassy in Pretoria said on Tuesday.It reported that the launch of the new air route was celebrated at a reception held on June 29 in the grand foyer of the Library of Congress in Washington.Former Congressman Howard Wolpe, who chaired the House Africa Sub-committee and now runs the Africa programme at the Woodrow Wilson...

05 July 2005
Free Trade Agreements Do Not Protect Exporters - Economist

Free Trade Agreements Do Not Protect Exporters - Economist

While free trade agreements (FTA's) may be an effective way of cementing relationships between two countries, few governments consider the credit worthiness of the prospective trading partners, according to Credit Guarantee senior economist Luke Doig.“Generally preferential trade agreements between countries or regions are designed to boost exports and the manufacturing sectors of the respective countries.“However, once the political fervour has moved on, exporters are faced with the potential pitfalls of non-payment with little legal or...

04 July 2005
AGOA a Success in 2004 - U.S.

AGOA a Success in 2004 - U.S.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) was a "measurable success" in 2004, an annual report prepared by the United States government has said.The report titled: 2005 Comprehensive Report on US Trade and Investment Policy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa and Implementation of AGOA (Note: this report can be downloaded from AGOA.info's archives here), indicates that AGOA exports to US were about $26.6 billion, an increase of 88 percent in 2003.Agoa exports from Uganda worth $2.6 million (Shs4.8 billion) in the first half of 2004 greatly...

04 July 2005
What to do to Woo Investors...

What to do to Woo Investors...

Unlike SA's divided business movement, corporate US more often than not speaks with a unified and strong voice; the US Chamber of Commerce represents 3m US businesses and is influential in lobbying the US government in the interests of its members.So it's good news and, possibly, a sign of things to come, when its president and CE, Tom Donohue, says more US companies want to invest in Southern Africa because this region offers an "abundant supply" of natural resources, and SA is at the business heart of the region.This means the number of US...

01 July 2005
Agriculture Specialists Examine US-Africa Trade Progress

Agriculture Specialists Examine US-Africa Trade Progress

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has helped level the playing field for Africa's access to U.S. agricultural markets, but American tariffs and subsidies are still blocking full access by Africa's farm producers, according to a panel of agricultural specialists participating in the 2005 Corporate Council on Africa U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Baltimore June 21-24.Rosa Whittaker, former assistant U.S. trade representative (USTR) for Africa, while acknowledging the steps forward, pointed to some of the basic problems that need to...

28 June 2005
South Africa Needs Sober Plan on Textiles

South Africa Needs Sober Plan on Textiles

South African policy makers must decide on the appropriate approach to take against the surge of cheap Chinese textile and clothing imports, but should steer away from adopting measures that could be detrimental to free trade, Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said on Friday.Many local clothing and textile manufacturers are facing extinction due to the proliferation of low-cost products from China, which has resulted in factory closures and massive job losses in the labour intensive sector.Barroso, who was in the...

27 June 2005
Nigeria: Intervene in Textile Jobs Crisis, Unions Tell WTO

Nigeria: Intervene in Textile Jobs Crisis, Unions Tell WTO

The International Con-federation of Free Trade Unions has requested the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to urgently examine the impact of trade liberalisation on the textile and clothing sector following the end of the quota system in December 2004.At their executive board meeting, the organisation also took note of the struggle against job losses and poverty by the Congress of South African Unions (COSATU) and expressed its solidarity for their planned protest today.The World Trade Organisation's liberalisation policy has posed a serious...

26 June 2005
Deadline for Third Country Fabrics Drawing Nearer

Deadline for Third Country Fabrics Drawing Nearer

The US will block all cloth imports under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) if the fabric is from countries that are outside the AGOA arrangement in 2006, reports Anne Mugisa.US Ambassador Jimmy Kolker on Monday said the agreement on sourcing the fabric from countries outside the AGOA arrangement expires in 2006."Fabrics and cloth for AGOA must come from an AGOA-eligible country. I hope Uganda will seize that opportunity," Kolker said at the globalisation seminar he opened at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi. He said AGOA was extended...

22 June 2005
China Launching Textile Export Quotas July 20

China Launching Textile Export Quotas July 20

China has announced plans to launch a new quota system to check its booming exports of textiles, a mechanism for effecting a deal reached with the European Union 10 days ago that eased trade friction.China cancelled export quotas at the start of January as part of a global move to end textile quotas. But surges in textile and clothing exports upset the European Union and the US who sought to impose safeguards.Under the new regulations, which go into effect on July 20, export licences issued by the Commerce Ministry will be determined based...

21 June 2005
US Businesses see South Africa's Worth

US Businesses see South Africa's Worth

The US business community sees great potential for growth in the relationship between the US and South Africa, with increasingly more US businesses interested in investing in, exporting to, and importing from this country, according to Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce.Donohue was speaking at the University of Cape Town (UCT)'s Graduate School of Business on Friday, where he was upbeat in his assessment about the future potential of co-operation between businesses in both countries."The American business...

19 June 2005
China Lashes out at US Textile Quotas

China Lashes out at US Textile Quotas

China's vice-premier Wu Yi stoked a swirling trade row with the United States Monday, attacking American limits on Chinese textile exports for impairing the rights of Chinese enterprises.Wu stressed Beijing was "resolutely" opposed to such politicising of trade issues and called for a negotiated settlement.The vice-premier's comments in Hong Kong came amid United States and European Union concerns over a huge jump in Chinese garment exports following the end of a global textile quota system on 1 January 2005.Although the EU last week struck...

13 June 2005
African Leaders Complain of AGOA Red Tape

African Leaders Complain of AGOA Red Tape

Five African presidents have criticised the economic criteria they must meet before their nations can qualify for a preferential trade deal that gives Africa greater access to the U.S. market.Speaking to reporters after meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House Monday, the leaders of Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia and Niger told reporters that they have to be "poor enough" to export to the United States under the controversial African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA was passed by Congress in 2000 after...

13 June 2005
AU Ministers Discuss World Trade Concerns

AU Ministers Discuss World Trade Concerns

African Union trade ministers meeting in Cairo this week are eager to increase Africa's share of the growing world market, according to Deputy US Trade Representative Peter Allgeier, who met with the ministers on Tuesday."All of us are committed to using the Doha negotiations to help reverse the trend that has occurred in Africa of a declining share of world trade," Allgeier said from Cairo."We think that the Doha negotiations can help to reverse that and allow African countries to take advantage of the great expansion in trade that has...

10 June 2005
Kenya: Mixed Fortunes for Clothing Firms

Kenya: Mixed Fortunes for Clothing Firms

It was a basket of mixed fortunes for garment manufacturing firms based in the Export Processing Zones when Finance Minister David Mwiraria unveiled the country's financial statement.The apparel firms have been reeling under the weight of ballooning production costs mainly resulting from relatively high wages coupled with high-energy costs, which have fast edged out Kenya from the lucrative US market.However, the sector received respite when the finance minister revealed the government has applied the brakes on the annual wage increment,...

09 June 2005
American & African Businesses Partner for Economic Development

American & African Businesses Partner for Economic Development

The business climate on the continent of Africa is changing for the better. Last year, Africa saw the highest rates of return on investment of any region in the world. Many international investors have already learned that they can earn money along with their African partners while making significant contributions to improving African economies - critical to addressing poverty. Now Americans, particularly small and medium business owners, are waking up to the win-win opportunities in Africa.It is against this backdrop that The Corporate...

08 June 2005
Africa Eager to Increase Its Share of World Trade

Africa Eager to Increase Its Share of World Trade

African Union trade ministers meeting in Cairo June 8-9 are eager to increase Africa's share of the growing world market, according to Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Peter F. Allgeier, who met with the ministers June 8. "All of us are committed to using the Doha negotiations to help reverse the trend that has occurred in Africa of a declining share of world trade," Allgeier said from Cairo during a June 8 telephone press conference with reporters in Washington."We think that the Doha negotiations can help to reverse that and allow...

08 June 2005
Kenya: 2,000 Jobs Lost in Textile Industry

Kenya: 2,000 Jobs Lost in Textile Industry

Manufacturers want a leeway for textile firms to peg wages on performance rather than the minimum wage set by the Government.Kenya Association of Manufacturers, the sector's umbrella organisation, said yesterday that the textile industry may collapse unless its labour costs are reduced.Local textile firms are feeling the effects of the quota system scrapped by the World Trade Organisation in January. For the last three months 2,000 people have lost jobs, while at least six textile companies have closed their doors in the country.The removal...

03 June 2005
United States Pleased With COMESA

United States Pleased With COMESA

The United States Assistant Trade Representative for Africa, Florizelle Liser, has said that her country is pleased with COMESA work. "What COMESA is doing is really important. It is one of the most impressive and best run regional organisations," Liser said, while recognizing the COMESA leadership for its focus determination and vision. Liser, who deliberated on preferential market access, said that COMESA countries have over 98% duty free access to the USA market because of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). She however,...

03 June 2005
US Curbs on Chinese Textiles bring little Relief for Africa

US Curbs on Chinese Textiles bring little Relief for Africa

US curbs on Chinese textile exports will give only temporary relief to African producers, so Africa must implement economic reforms to help firms make more competitive garments, a U.S. trade official said yesterday.Sub-Saharan African states have seen their textile industries grow sharply in the last five years thanks to a preferential trade deal with the United States, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).AGOA provides the poor countries with duty and quota-free access to the $11 trillion US market.But that advantage is under...

02 June 2005
China Scraps Textile Export Tariffs

China Scraps Textile Export Tariffs

China says it will remove export tariffs on 81 categories of textiles that were introduced at the start of 2005 and will also cancel tariff increases on 74 products planned to start Wednesday, according to the Chinese Ministry of Finance.The unexplained announcement is a turnaround from China’s pledge to push up tariffs on 74 products from 1 June onwards.China imposed duties on a range of textile goods on 1 January in an attempt to prevent the US and the EU from introducing protectionist measures to stop a surge in cheap exports after...

31 May 2005
Kenya: President Moves to Protect EPZ Jobs

Kenya: President Moves to Protect EPZ Jobs

President Mwai Kibaki last week moved to protect about the jobs in Export Processing Zones (EPZ) as George W. Bush assured textile exporters to the US that all was not lost following the expiry of the Multi-Fibre Agreement in January.Mr Kibaki asked the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry to consult with EPZ operators to stem the "real threat" to 40,000 local jobs in Kenya's garment and apparel industry, due to rising exports to Europe and the US from Asia. The rise in Asian exports has begun to erode African cloth makers' share of...

30 May 2005
AGOA Lights a Fire Under Africa's Exports

AGOA Lights a Fire Under Africa's Exports

Exports from the 37 African countries eligible for duty-free exports to the US under that country's African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) jumped 88% to $26,6bn last year over 2003, says the latest Agoa annual report, submitted to the US congress by US President George Bush yesterday.US exports to sub-Saharan Africa rose a quarter to $8,6bn, according to the report released by the US Bureau of International Information Programmes.The figures support the widely held view in the US and Africa that the five-year old Agoa initiative has been...

24 May 2005