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Swaziland: Huge Job Losses Feared in Garment Industry

Swaziland: Huge Job Losses Feared in Garment Industry

The Swazi government estimates that a third of all garment industry jobs will be lost by mid-year due to the crisis facing textile firms. "The textile industry created 45,000 jobs in 2001 and 2003. Fifteen thousand jobs will be lost from last year to June this year [2005]," Enterprise and Employment Minister Lutfo Dlamini told a meeting of the Swaziland Textile Exporters Association last week. Robert Maxwell of the textile exporters association said none of the 10 major textile companies in the country, which are largely Taiwanese-owned, had...

31 January 2005
South Africa: Textile Top Dogs 'Their Own Worst Enemy'

South Africa: Textile Top Dogs 'Their Own Worst Enemy'

Durban - Independent clothing manufacturers and suppliers this week accused the local textile industry of being its own worst enemy, claiming that poor quality, service and high prices left much to be desired.Arthur Limbouris, a director of Quiksilver, said many of the small and medium converters had begun importing from China when local manufacturers turned their focus to the export market at the time the rand weakened and the US's Africa Growth and Opportunity Act offered tremendous incentives."The net result was that small and medium...

30 January 2005
Asian Textile Houses flee Lesotho after Quotas End

Asian Textile Houses flee Lesotho after Quotas End

Asian-owned textile firms are fleeing Lesotho after the end of a global quota agreement left the impoverished southern African state unable to compete in the US with cheaper Chinese exports, unions say.Massive reform is needed if the remaining industry, which makes T-shirts and jeans for US chains like Gap and Timberland and employs thousands, is not to disappear entirely from Lesotho, they say."In the last quarter of last year ... six factories closed down, drastically increasing the number of unemployed people," Bahlakoana Lebakae, deputy...

28 January 2005
Lesotho:Efforts to Reopen Textile Factories Underway

Lesotho:Efforts to Reopen Textile Factories Underway

At least one of the six clothing and textile factories in Lesotho which closed down in December 2004, is expected to reopen early next month, a senior government official told IRIN this week.About 7,000 clothing and textile workers' jobs were under a cloud when the factories, some of them believed to be facing "cash-flow problems", failed to reopen early this year."We are also trying to help at least another two factories - in the form of export incentives - to reopen next month as well," said David Rantekoa, permanent secretary for trade...

28 January 2005
Namibia: NAFAU Seeks Govt Help to Resolve Labour Issues At Ramatex Factory

Namibia: NAFAU Seeks Govt Help to Resolve Labour Issues At Ramatex Factory

The Namibian Food and Allied Workers' Union (Nafau) has requested Government to facilitate a meeting with Malaysian textile factory, Ramatex, to iron out longstanding labour issues.Nafau General Secretary Kiros Sakarias said yesterday that it was "high time" the issues were raised at a common forum.He claimed the factory continued to be in breach of the country's labour law as well as agreements entered into with the factory."It is not fair [for us] to allow the situation to go on unabated and then claim to represent the workers," Sakarias...

27 January 2005
End of WTO Rag Treaty Rips into Poor

End of WTO Rag Treaty Rips into Poor

A few years ago, the tiny kingdom of Lesotho appeared to have a lot on offer for investors: cheap labour, generous tax incentives and proximity to the regional powerhouse, South Africa.Textile manufacturers certainly seemed to like what they saw.Taiwanese entrepreneurs started arriving in Lesotho in 2000. By investing in the country, they were also able to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). This US programme was set up to allow duty-free access to the American market for a wide selection of exports from...

26 January 2005
SA Textile Industry 'In Need of Rescue'

SA Textile Industry 'In Need of Rescue'

Government should urgently devise a rescue package to pull the textile industry out of its job-shedding crisis, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said yesterday.DA spokesmen Mark Lowe and Enyinna Nkem-Abonta said such a package should include assistance for enterprises compelled to move into more competitive niche markets as well as reskilling programmes for employees affected.The crisis has been caused by the influx of cheap Chinese imports and the strong rand, which undermine the local industry's ability to compete in domestic and...

25 January 2005
Southern Africa: Textile Industries in Turmoil

Southern Africa: Textile Industries in Turmoil

A few years ago, the tiny kingdom of Lesotho appeared to have a lot on offer for investors: cheap labour, generous tax incentives and proximity to the regional powerhouse, South Africa.Textile manufacturers certainly seemed to like what they saw.Taiwanese entrepreneurs started arriving in Lesotho in 2000. By investing in the country, they were also able to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This U.S. programme was set up to allow duty-free access to the American market for a wide selection of exports from...

24 January 2005
Sierra Leone: Country Gets Tractor Assembly Factory

Sierra Leone: Country Gets Tractor Assembly Factory

Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Kadie Sesay revealed last Friday told Concord Times that government has finalized arrangements with a Chinese company to undertake the assembling of tractors for agricultural development in the country."We've completed an agreement with a Chinese company for the assembling of tractors for agriculture and very soon, we would start assembling tractors in this country," Dr. Sesay said, adding that other Chinese companies have undertaken great work in transforming the National Workshop into an industrial...

24 January 2005
South Africa: Textiles Task Team Revived

South Africa: Textiles Task Team Revived

Durban - The government task team that aims to address the problems threatening to destroy the textile and clothing industries has been revived and will meet on February 1 after five dormant months. The task team, which was appointed by former minister of trade and industry Alec Erwin, only met three times between May and August last year. The textile industry has lost 30 000 jobs over the past two years.Brian Brink, the chief executive of the SA Textile Federation, yesterday welcomed the resumption of meetings. "It is unfortunate that some...

21 January 2005
Business Report Shows Increased U.S.-  Africa Trade

Business Report Shows Increased U.S.- Africa Trade

Trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa increased appreciably in 2003, partly as a result of benefits offered under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to a report by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), "U.S. Trade and Investment with Sub- Saharan Africa."U.S. imports from sub-Saharan African countries eligible for African Growth and Opportunity Act benefits increased 36.3 percent to $14 billion in 2003. The largest share came from Nigeria, reflecting the rise in AGOA imports from U.S. purchases...

21 January 2005
Swaziland: Kingdom's Fragile Economy Under Threat

Swaziland: Kingdom's Fragile Economy Under Threat

Swaziland's economy faces a serious challenge now that it has to compete with Asian giants like China for a share of clothing and textile exports to the United States.The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) elimination of quotas for clothing and textile exports to the US on 1 January 2005, means Swaziland's burgeoning garment industry is under threat.Union leaders told IRIN that already one foreign-owned factory had relocated its business, while two others had closed for the December holiday period but had yet to reopen, as their export order...

19 January 2005
Chinese Exports Threaten to Destroy Textile Manufacturing Industries Worldwide

Chinese Exports Threaten to Destroy Textile Manufacturing Industries Worldwide

When China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2003, various safeguards were imposed on Beijing: any member of the WTO is allowed to limit textile shipments from China to 7.5 percent for a year, or 6 percent for wool products. Member countries can apply to renew these measures on an annual basis until 2008, when the China safeguards fall away. Normal safeguards can still be invoked, but the onus of proof will lie on the country that believes its industry and economy are being damaged. Turkey last week invoked these safeguards...

19 January 2005
South AFrica: Exports to the US 'Surge'

South AFrica: Exports to the US 'Surge'

Johannesburg - An analysis of South Africa's trade with the US in November 2004 by the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) showed a 61.1% year-on-year (y/y) surge in exports to $526.6m. The November 2004 total is 11.8% below the record $597.168m reached in June 2004, but is still nevertheless the sixth highest. Exports for the first 11 months are up 19.61% y/y to $5.342bn and 39.5% above the first 11 months of 2002, despite a 15% strengthening against the dollar in 2004 compared with 2003 and a 39% gain compared with 2002's average....

18 January 2005
Kenya: Agoa Focus Shifts to Agro Products

Kenya: Agoa Focus Shifts to Agro Products

With Kenya's clothing exports to the United States facing enormous competitive challenges, efforts to increase trade between the two countries are starting to focus on other products covered by the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).Particular attention is being given to the agricultural sector. Its largely untapped potential is being touted by Kenyan ambassador Leonard Ngaithe, who says that Kenyan smallholders can gain a much larger US market share for their coffee, tea, flowers and pyrethrum. But Kenyan farmers need greater...

17 January 2005
Lesotho: New Trade Regime Threatens Economy

Lesotho: New Trade Regime Threatens Economy

About 7,000 clothing and textile workers face a bleak year after three factories in Lesotho failed to reopen after the festive season.The impact of the closures on the tiny mountain kingdom, one of the least developed countries in the world, will be significant.Deputy general-secretary of the Lesotho Clothing and Allied Workers Union, B. Shaw Lebakae, told IRIN that the end of quotas for cheap imports to the United States from Asian countries would cause more foreign factory owners, originally from Asia, to reconsider the location of their...

13 January 2005
Lesotho: 6 Textile Factories Shutting Down

Lesotho: 6 Textile Factories Shutting Down

Maseru - Six textile factories have closed and their foreign owners fled Lesotho, leaving some 6 650 workers jobless in the small mountain kingdom in southern Africa, the Factory Worker's Union said on Wednesday. The union's secretary-general, Billy Macaefa, blamed the closures on the January 1 end of worldwide textile quotas that limited competition from cheap Asian exports to the United States and European Union. "We understand that some ... were complaining that the South African rand was strong against the U.S. dollar, and they were...

12 January 2005
Zambia: Quality Products Key to AGOA, SMEs Told

Zambia: Quality Products Key to AGOA, SMEs Told

There is need for small business enterprises to mass-produce quality goods if they are to access the Africa Gross Opportunity Act (AGOA) market, Small Scale Enterprise Development Board (SEDB) acting director, David Chewe, has said.In an interview in Lusaka at the weekend, Mr Chewe said there was potential market for small-scale enterprise products such as garments, tie-and-dye, flowers and other horticultural products in the AGOA market.He called on the government to facilitate an enabling environment for SMEs to produce for export to AGOA...

10 January 2005
Namibia: Govt Not Worried About Lifting of Textile Quotas

Namibia: Govt Not Worried About Lifting of Textile Quotas

A senior Namibian government official has played down the potential effect the lifting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) textile quota could have on Namibia's fledging industry, as several other developing countries brace themselves for massive job losses.All quotas on textile imports were lifted by WTO countries, including the European Union (EU) on January 1, which effectively means that cheap clothing from rich and powerful nations will now flood the United States - developing countries' main market - and manufacturers from the poorer...

07 January 2005
Zambia to Attend 'Fancy Food Show'

Zambia to Attend 'Fancy Food Show'

Zambia is among the countries in the Sub-Saharan region which have been invited to participate in the 'Fancy Food Show' in the United States under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).AGOA desk manager for Zambia, Moses Simemba confirmed in an interview yesterday that selected companies in the Sub-Saharan region including companies in Zambia would participate in the show in Chicago in May. Mr Simemba said the desk had identified two companies in Zambia that would attend the show."The two companies will be informed on their participation...

04 January 2005
WTO: Africa Hit Hard as Global Textiles Market Opens

WTO: Africa Hit Hard as Global Textiles Market Opens

African textile producers are expected to be the hardest hit when rich countries end a curb on clothing imports from developing nations from Saturday, forcing Africa to compete with larger low-cost producers, analysts say.Many African countries say the end of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, which for 40 years has guaranteed their textile exports duty-free, quota-free access to western markets, could spell a free-for-all rather than free trade.Analysts say it will force countries like Mauritius, Madagascar,...

03 January 2005
Uganda: Sh325m to Boost Textile Trade

Uganda: Sh325m to Boost Textile Trade

The United States Department of Education and Cultural Affairs has released $187,000 (sh325m) to promote business between US and Ugandan textile firms.According to Dr. Maggie Kigozi, Uganda Investment Authority's (UIA) executive director, the funds, released through UGA International Outreach, will create opportunities for business, which will translate into economic growth and more jobs."The project is an important manifestation of the African Growth and Opportunities Act of 2000, which provides market access for 38 sub-Saharan African...

31 December 2004
Ivory Coast Loses AGOA Eligibility

Ivory Coast Loses AGOA Eligibility

A central component of this Administration's broad commitment to trade liberalization has been to advance hope, opportunity, and prosperity in both developed and developing countries by reducing barriers to trade and investment. In this regard, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a key pillar of the Administration's policy to spur economic development, alleviate poverty, and encourage trade in sub-Saharan Africa.On December 21, President Bush determined that the following 36 countries continue to be eligible for economic and...

23 December 2004
Kenya: Hard Times Ahead For Producers

Kenya: Hard Times Ahead For Producers

Midnight of December 31, could spell doom for Kenyan textile exporters to the United States as the World Trade Organisation ends Multi-Fibre Agreement, consequently allowing China to export textiles to the US quota-free.The MFA was established in the 1970s to give some protection to the textile industries of industrialised countries facing competition from countries with lower manufacturing costs. Since 1995, the WTO has been gradually phasing out quotas to bring trading agreements governing textiles in line with global free trade...

21 December 2004
New Year Threat to Kenya's Textile Industry

New Year Threat to Kenya's Textile Industry

The Kenyan textile sector could begin to experience a slow-motion disaster starting January 1, or, then again, it may suffer only moderate damage.Either way, the New Year promises nothing positive for an industry that has been briskly expanding under the impetus of the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Agoa has been responsible for the creation of an estimated 30,000 jobs in Kenya during the past three years. And now many of these workers are facing an uncertain future. The Agoa initiative, launched in 2000, allows duty-free...

20 December 2004
South Africa: Textile Industry Could Get Respite From China

South Africa: Textile Industry Could Get Respite From China

With China expected to flood the world with its cheap products after the removal of quotas on textiles and clothing exports at the end of this month, there was a chance that South Africa could avoid a Chinese juggernaut as the world's largest producer of textiles shifted its focus to the world's richest markets, a top local trade unionist said yesterday."There may be an irony in that with China having greater access to the US and the EU markets, it may be less interested in focusing on the South African market, which could be a respite for...

15 December 2004
US-African Ministers Deadlock Over Trade Agreement

US-African Ministers Deadlock Over Trade Agreement

THE U.S. trade envoy met with ministers from five southern African countries in hopes of advancing negotiations on the United States' first free-trade agreement in sub-Saharan Africa.The talks, which began in South Africa in June last year, have stalled over a number of issues, including labour, the environment and intellectual property rights. Members of the Southern African Customs Union - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland - argue that many of these issues should be dealt with through other forums and want a more...

15 December 2004
Lesotho:

Lesotho: "Country Making Real Progress Under AGOA" -Zoellick

The United States has great respect for the economic progress that has made Lesotho the largest sub-Saharan Africa apparel exporter to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), says U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert B. Zoellick.Speaking at a December 13 press availability with Lesotho Minister of Industry, Trade and Marketing Mpho Mali Malie, Zoellick cited Lesotho's economic progress -- and some $400 million in exports to the United States -- as the reason he chose to become the first Cabinet-level U.S....

15 December 2004
Global Quotas... Hanging by a Thread

Global Quotas... Hanging by a Thread

At midnight on December 31 this year, quotas which have regulated international trade in textiles and clothing are to be abolished. Textile Federation executive director Brian Brink says what was supposed to be a gradual process of phasing-in quota-free trade has boiled down to a huge hurdle at the tail end. He explains that textile and clothing quotas were first agreed in 1974, and throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s developed countries erected a range of quotas against countries such as Hong Kong, India, China, Pakistan, Mauritius and...

10 December 2004
South Africa: Strong Rand Erodes AGOA Benefits

South Africa: Strong Rand Erodes AGOA Benefits

The textile industry had invested R3 billion in new equipment, plant and expansion since the US's African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) was launched in 2000, Walter Simeoni, the president of the Textile Federation of SA, said yesterday.But the anticipated boom in exports had not materialised because of the strength of the rand, and Agoa and other trade agreements such as the one with the EU had little value at the current exchange rate, he said.Some of the investments had been funded by loans raised on the open market at high interest...

10 December 2004
Botswana: New AGOA Advisor Joins Trade Hub

Botswana: New AGOA Advisor Joins Trade Hub

Amanda Hilligas has joined the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Trade Hub, based here in Gaborone, as the new African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Advisor.Hilligas has 10 years of experience working on economic development and trade issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has travelled extensively in the region and has a thorough understanding of trade-related and business development issues in Africa. Before coming to Botswana, she served as the Southern Africa Desk Officer at the US Department of Commerce, where she also served as a...

10 December 2004
SACU Apparel Exports Increase Slightly In $-Terms, Except South Africa’s

SACU Apparel Exports Increase Slightly In $-Terms, Except South Africa’s

Aggregate apparel exports to the United States from countries belonging to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), comprising South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, have shown a slight year-on-year increase. The latest trade data for apparel exports, published recently, reveals that for the 9-month period to September 2004 SACU’s apparel exports have increased by US$ 38mn compared with the same period last year. But South Africa’s poor showing taints this performance.South Africa’s exports of apparel have decreased...

07 December 2004
South Africa: Rand Making AGOA Redundant

South Africa: Rand Making AGOA Redundant

Mediterranean Textile Mills has invested R100 million in new equipment over the past three years to increase production capacity to meet the demand generated by the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa), which has become redundant because of the strengthening of the rand. Cliff Harvey, the managing director of the Hammarsdale-based mill that employs 400 people, said yesterday that the strengthening of the rand over the past 18 months had cost Mediterranean its US customer, Ltd, which last year accounted for 20 percent of the company's...

07 December 2004
USTR Zoellick to Travel to Sub-Saharan Africa

USTR Zoellick to Travel to Sub-Saharan Africa

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick travels to three countries in West Africa December 7-10 to discuss ways to further global trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda and to learn more about Africa's needs on cotton and other key products. Zoellick's visit to Senegal, Benin and Mali will fulfill a pledge he made to West African trade ministers in Geneva earlier in 2004 to continue a dialogue with African countries interested in the global cotton trade and development.These three...

06 December 2004
Swaziland: Strong Rand Squeezes Exporters, Layoffs Increase

Swaziland: Strong Rand Squeezes Exporters, Layoffs Increase

Worker layoffs in Swaziland are proliferating at year's end as a result of the strong South African rand, to which the Swazi currency, the lilangeni, is linked."The situation is intense, and a few factories have already closed down because they are running at a loss. The manufacturing process is quite expensive, and these companies are getting very little income through exports," said Robert Maxwell, a spokesman for the textile industry.Swaziland's textile industry has dominated the small country's manufacturing sector. Thirty-five...

03 December 2004
Kenya: Ailing Cotton Industry Dips Further, Says Report

Kenya: Ailing Cotton Industry Dips Further, Says Report

The Kenyan Government's efforts to revive the ailing cotton industry have failed to spur the sector's growth.The much-touted African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) that was expected to inspire the once vibrant sector is yet to materialise. Cotton production has dropped from a peak of 70,000 bales in 1984 to mere 30,000 bales last year.Industry sources say only 10 per cent of the 384,000 hectares previously under cotton cultivation is utilised."Although cotton prices have improved since 1991, when the market was liberalised, cotton...

02 December 2004
Zambia: AGOA Paying Off

Zambia: AGOA Paying Off

Zambia's Government says the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) has played a major role in increasing exports in some Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries whose current figures stand at US$752 million compared to $457 million in 2002.Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Eugene Appel said yesterday that COMESA exports under AGOA stood at $880.5 million in 2003 from $456.7 million in 2002, indicating an increase of 52 per cent.He said this when he officiated at the eighth meeting of inter-governmental...

02 December 2004
Kenya: Big Cotton Deficit Curbs AGOA Trade

Kenya: Big Cotton Deficit Curbs AGOA Trade

Kenya records a deficit of 100,000 bales of cotton annually. It cannot meet local and foreign demand with the 20,000 bales it produces yearly. Domestic consumption is 120,000 bales. Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) managing director Bartholomew Wanyama questioned the inability of Kenya to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), extended to 2007.The deal allows Kenya to export duty-free cotton products to the US.In the last four years more than Sh6.9 billion has been invested in the textile sector, he...

27 November 2004
South Africa: Finance Minister Offers Advice on Strong Currency

South Africa: Finance Minister Offers Advice on Strong Currency

South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel told textile workers on Thursday that foreign exchange matters were key to understanding the future of the textile industry. He said one of the realities was that the fundamentals of the United States economy were out of kilter. The US was "importing more than it's exporting", and the inevitable consequence of this was the devaluation of the dollar. The textile industry had to take into consideration the inevitable appreciation of the rand. "We can pull guns on each other, we can misbehave and...

25 November 2004
Ethiopia: Textile, Apparel Industry Receive Morale Boosts

Ethiopia: Textile, Apparel Industry Receive Morale Boosts

Amid various measures being taken to enhance the outreach of the Ethiopian export sector, a fact finding trade mission from the US is here and seems to have landed on a major meeting point between exporters and buyers in the Ethiopian and American context. In a meeting organized the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce (AACC), in collaboration with the Ethiopia-American Chamber of Commerce (EACOC) in partnership with the Consulate General of Ethiopia in Los Angeles, the Africa/USA International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AfUSA) and...

23 November 2004

"Exploit AGOA" Says Textile Entrepreneur

A Botswana textile entrepreneur said yesterday that the country should not worry about who won the US elections but what it has achieved under Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).Aswin Singh, the chief executive officer for the Microlith Factory in Selibe Phikwe said yesterday that Botswana should fully take advantage of the extension of AGOA."AGOA is in place, the elections have come and gone and Botswana should take advantage of the extension," Singh said. He added that the Botswana elections are more important than those of the US....

17 November 2004
US Professors to Lobby for AGOA

US Professors to Lobby for AGOA

Two professors from the University of South Carolina in the US have vowed to lobby their government to restrict the quantity of textiles Asia exports to America.While visiting Apparels Tri-Star in Bugolobi recently, Robert Relfe and Doug Woodward, said if Uganda and other African countries are to sustain exports to the US, they should be protected from being swallowed up."We are going to lobby our government through the media and other structures like the (US) Senate to restrict textile imports from Asian Tigers," Woodward said.He said since...

09 November 2004
Terror, AGOA Likely to Dominate Bush Agenda in East Africa

Terror, AGOA Likely to Dominate Bush Agenda in East Africa

Analysts in the US expect little change in American policy toward East Africa following President George W. Bush's re-election last week. And that is seen as either a good or a bad development, depending on the analyst's perspective."I don't think the election outcome is negative for Africa," says Stephen Hayes, head of the Corporate Council on Africa. "This administration deserves credit for being pragmatic and some good programmes it has launched." Continuation of Bush administration policies is both likely and "quite ominous," in the...

08 November 2004
Zimbabwe: Exclusion from AGOA haunts Textile Sector

Zimbabwe: Exclusion from AGOA haunts Textile Sector

Zimbabwe's exclusion from the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) is still haunting the local textiles industry, four years after the promulgation of the trade agreement between the United States of America and Africa.AGOA, signed into law by former US president Bill Clinton, allows duty-free entry of a range of African goods into the US market. Zimbabwe is the only southern African nation which was excluded from AGOA because of its alleged bad human rights record.The local textile industry, facing fierce competition from the booming...

04 November 2004
Swaziland: Economic Policies favour Elite according to Report

Swaziland: Economic Policies favour Elite according to Report

Swazi government policies and trade schemes like the US African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) have not dented poverty in the kingdom, as they primarily benefit the ruling family and an elite minority, according to a new report."Economic growth has been exceptional over the past years, and the country strives to attract more investors to reap the benefits of AGOA. Yet, all forms of inequality are substantially on the rise," concluded the report by Dr Gabriel Tati, a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Management at...

03 November 2004
Fabric Exemption granted to Mauritius for 1 Year

Fabric Exemption granted to Mauritius for 1 Year

Recent media reports stating that Mauritius has been granted LDC status (read the L’Express article here and a similar feature by the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce here) were found to be premature. This follows investigations by AGOA.info, and enquiries to the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and US Office for Textiles and Apparel.The re-designation of Mauritius has indeed been tabled before the US Congress, as part of the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004 (HR-1047). This 300-page Act covers a number of areas, and...

29 October 2004
Uganda May Export Gum to US under AGOA

Uganda May Export Gum to US under AGOA

China urged Europe on Thursday to refrain from "putting up barriers" in a new set of EU trade priorities that would hit Chinese textiles.The European Commission on Wednesday proposed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) that would deprive China of its current right to pay only a three-percent tariff, against the usual 12 percent.EU textile import quotas are to end from January 1, 2005, as agreed under the last so-called Uruguay Round of WTO trade talks in the 1990s."I believe (the removal of quotas) in the textile trade is an...

21 October 2004
China Calls for Caution on Textiles Trade

China Calls for Caution on Textiles Trade

International trade expert in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Noko Murangi, yesterday contended that the elimination of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Textiles and Clothing quotas would have ramifications for Namibian textile companiesÿHowever, he was quick to add that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) arrange-ment with some African countries, including Namibia, signalled that the American market would not fully lift the veil, or wholly open up its own market just yet.Textile quotas on imports would be done away with...

21 October 2004
AGOA: Namibia's Lifeline

AGOA: Namibia's Lifeline

Reports that Botswana is not fully utilising the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) make sad reading. Botswana is one country that should have taken full advantage of this economic instrument from America. This is because AGOA is a deliberate trade preferential arrangement by the United States to allow countries that practice good governance and democracy to penetrate the American markets.Botswana is said to be one of Africa's longest democratic projects and a model of good governance and economic success - the factors that made countries...

21 October 2004
Zambia: ALINC Helps Firms to Break US Market

Zambia: ALINC Helps Firms to Break US Market

Uganda may benefit from the export of gum arabic to the United States of America under the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) if the samples there pass the functionality tests.The success of the tests will open the door for Uganda to export directly to the US duty and quota free market under Agoa, where apparels are already being exported. This is contained in a paper by Ugandan scientists titled 'Agroforestry Development in Uganda's dry lands' that was presented recently at a workshop at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in...

18 October 2004