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' Ugandan Government Spent Sh5.8b On AGOA Factory'

' Ugandan Government Spent Sh5.8b On AGOA Factory'

The Ugandan Government reportedly spent sh5.8b to train over 1,000 girls at the Apparel Tri-Star factory state minister for information, Nsaba Buturo, said yesterday.The sum also included renovation of the former Coffee Marketing Board building housing the factory.He said the Government was investigating the allegations made by the girls against the management of Tri-Star and expects to complete the probe in a week's time.Addressing the weekly Government press briefing at Nakasero, Buturo dismissed claims by the chairman of the UPC...

31 October 2003
US Backs Trans-Kalahari Corridor Plan

US Backs Trans-Kalahari Corridor Plan

The US government announced yesterday that it supported the planned signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of the Trans-Kalahari Corridor (TKC).The deal will be signed on on November 3, 2003, at Namport in Walvis Bay, by Transportation Ministers from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.A similar event took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on October 8, 2003, with the signing of the Dar es Salaam Corridor constitution.Both these agreements were developed with the support of the US Agency for International...

31 October 2003
Indian Investors Eyeing Kenyan Textile Plant

Indian Investors Eyeing Kenyan Textile Plant

Investors from India are expected in Kenya this month to negotiate the revival of Rivatex Factory in Eldoret.Assistant Minister for Trade and Industry Petkay Miriti said another team from an American company, Progressive Ag. Co. LLC, is currently in Kenya to discuss revival of the factory.Miriti said the American company made a preliminary visit to Rivatex in August 2001 and expressed interest in reviving it.Miriti was answering a question by Mosop MP John Sambu (Kanu).Sambu wanted to know what steps the minister was taking to ensure Rivatex...

30 October 2003
US Lobbyists Want AGOA Extended

US Lobbyists Want AGOA Extended

US-based lobbyists are pushing hard for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), signed into law by former president Bill Clinton in 2000 and extended in 2002 by current incumbent George W Bush, to be extended.In a statement issued by the US embassy, former assistant US trade representative for Africa, Rosa Whitaker, said the Agoa 3 action committee wanted Africa's preferential US market access under Agoa extended to 2015 from 2008.The group also called for an end to uncertainties over what constituted Agoa-eligible garments, the...

27 October 2003
Ugandan Court Halts Dismissal of AGOA Workers

Ugandan Court Halts Dismissal of AGOA Workers

The Ugandan High Court yesterday stopped the dismissal of the striking girls at the Apparels Tri-Star factory.The company makes garments for export to the US under the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).The interim order was issued by Justice Okumu Wengi after one of the girls and trade unionists filed an application. He said the dismissal would be valid only if Tri-Star paid the girls all outstanding dues and benefits and transported them back to their homes.About 1,400 girls work at the factory.Justice Okumu Wengi delivered the ruling...

24 October 2003
NEPAD May Stimulate Increased AGOA Participation

NEPAD May Stimulate Increased AGOA Participation

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) will create an environment conducive to the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).The Nepad declaration and Agoa share a number of prin-ciples, US Embassy economic section deputy chief Alan Tousignant says. “We see Nepad, which is an African initiative by Africans, as a promising programme that encourages cooperation in order to improve the political, economic and social situation in Africa,” he says.On the issues of economic and corporate governance –...

24 October 2003
Nigerian Minister Says Africa Could Reap $60bn from AGOA

Nigerian Minister Says Africa Could Reap $60bn from AGOA

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Saidu Samaila Sambawa, has urged African countries to take maximum advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)He said that African countries could reap up to 60 billion dollars in trade with the U.S under AGOA.The minister was speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after participating in the UN General Assembly debate on economic growth of Africa.He explained that enormous labour and textile potential in the continent could form the basis of the new trade deal with the...

23 October 2003
How SA Can Enhance Trade With Africa

How SA Can Enhance Trade With Africa

For all its efforts to boost ties with the region and the continent, South Africa imported a minuscule 3% of its needs from other African countries during the first six months of this year. The balance of trade with Africa is weighted eight-to-one in South Africa’s favour, aggravated by the economic collapse of the country’s largest continental trading partner, Zimbabwe. South Africa’s traffic with Zimbabwe is starting to take on the complexion of emergency relief, with trade in vegetable products trebling in value between 1999 and...

23 October 2003
Problems at Ugandan Apparel Manufacturer

Problems at Ugandan Apparel Manufacturer

More than 1,000 young women who were on strike at a local textile factory have been fired.The firm, which produces and exports textiles to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA, has also been closed temporarily.The employees, believed to be more than 1,000, and popularly known as Agoa girls, were sacked following a two-day strike at the Apparel Tri-Star factory in Bugolobi, Kampala.The head of the company, Mr V. Kananathan, wrote to Dr David Ogaram, the commissioner for labour in the Ministry of Gender, Labour...

23 October 2003
AGOA Proponents Urge Wider US Market Access

AGOA Proponents Urge Wider US Market Access

Former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Rosa Whitaker joined with members of the United States Congress, the Bush administration and influential representatives of the private sector to call for further enhancements to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that was passed into law three years ago.Speaking on behalf of a group known as "The AGOA 3 Action Committee," Whitaker told a packed congressional briefing October 21, "We all have the common belief that the legitimate aspirations of African people for growth and...

23 October 2003
Civil Society's Voice At US Trade and Economic Cooperation Conference

Civil Society's Voice At US Trade and Economic Cooperation Conference

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Civil Society Network Secretariat is coordinating Civil Society’s participation in the Third US - Sub-Saharan Africa Economic Trade and Cooperation Forum taking place December 9-10, 2003. To this end, the AGOA Civil Society Session will take place December 8-10, 2003 on the main campus of Howard University in Washington, DC.This is the second year of The AGOA Civil Society Session, and this year's theme is "The Next Step for Sustaining AGOA's Momentum: A Civil Society Perspective." This session...

21 October 2003
Agoa Offers Template For Growth

Agoa Offers Template For Growth

Countries that have taken advantage of the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), notably Lesotho and Swaziland, have enjoyed an enormous increase in formal employment. There are early indications Agoa is helping these states to climb a rung higher on the industrialisation ladder, and may offer other African nations a template for success. Agoa was ratified by the Bush administration in October 2000. In December 2000, President George Bush extended duty-free treatment under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) to...

21 October 2003
Kenya's Exporters Want Another Four-Year Apparel Treaty

Kenya's Exporters Want Another Four-Year Apparel Treaty

The Export Processing Zones want the African Growth and Opportunity Act renewed for another four years.The move would help create about 200,000 more jobs from the current 37,000, said the chairman of the Kenya Apparel Manufacturers Exporters Association, Mr Jaswinder Bedi.The current four-year treaty to export textiles to the US is scheduled to end in October next year.Mr Bedi urged the Government to help the EPZ negotiate with the United States for the extension of the treaty by another term."We are in a dilemma about what to do if the...

20 October 2003
SACU - US Trade Negotiations Beyond AGOA on Track

SACU - US Trade Negotiations Beyond AGOA on Track

THE Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the US are ready for "real trade negotiations" following a successful round of talks in Washington last week, SA's chief trade negotiator Xavier Carim said last night.This means that it is still possible that the negotiations will be concluded on schedule at the end of next year.Carim, who had just returned from Washington, said that the latest round had been a "very good one" and the stage was set for serious nitty-gritty negotiations when both sides meet again in December."We are prepared to...

20 October 2003
Southern African Businesses test US Market

Southern African Businesses test US Market

Small businesses in Southern Africa are testing the United States as a market for a wide range of handmade products, from furniture and woven rugs to jewellery and garments. Samples of the work were shown last week at the US Chamber of Commerce, where exhibitors were seeking opinions from potential buyers and other producers on whether the products are fit for American markets or need improvement. The African exhibitors are hoping to cash in on an agreement between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa signed in 2000 that allows duty-free...

15 October 2003
Lesotho and Mr Price Have To Face Reality Soon

Lesotho and Mr Price Have To Face Reality Soon

Opinion&Analysis: The spat between the unions and organisations such as Mr Price needs a touch of reality. If such organisations are buying vast quantities of clothing from, say Lesotho, it is only because legislation permits it.I was chairman of the working group for trade protocol for Malawi and have insight into such oddities.Lesotho is a lesser developed country (LDC) as far as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) is concerned. For five years it can import fabric from wherever and sew it, qualifying as Agoa accepted.Back to Mr...

12 October 2003
AGOA Apparel Exports up but Danger Ahead?

AGOA Apparel Exports up but Danger Ahead?

Total exports of apparel from the AGOA-beneficiary countries are up 37% year-on-year to August 2003, while the proportion of exports qualifying for duty-free access under AGOA rose marginally from 72% to 75%. With the cut-off date for the use of third-country textile inputs only a year away, more than three-quarters of all AGOA apparel exports thus far this year still utilised foreign inputs. This proportion has remained unchanged relative to the same period in 2002. Lesotho, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Lesotho and South Africa continue...

10 October 2003
Cautionary Note on Automotive Exports

Cautionary Note on Automotive Exports

South African automotive-com-ponent manufacturers intent on exporting to the US should consider exporting products for which there is a growing demand.This is the view expressed at the Autocluster Africa conference this month by Roger Pitot, automotive sector consultant and chair of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa motor industry development plan (MIDP) committee.He outlined a number of products for which there is a growing demand which could be filled in part by South African manufacturers.Pitot noted...

10 October 2003
AGOA Trade Data for Ivory Coast Corrected

AGOA Trade Data for Ivory Coast Corrected

Trade data for the Ivory Coast published by the United States was corrected today following a query to the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) by AGOA.info. USITC had inadvertently included certain trade figures in 2001 and ascribed these to having qualified for AGOA benefits. The Ivory Coast qualified for AGOA benefits much later than most other African beneficiary countries, namely on May 16, 2002. AGOA benefits thus only accrue to this country from that date onwards.USITC Tariff and Trade Information Manager Peg MacKnight...

08 October 2003
SA Revenue Services takes on the GSP administration

SA Revenue Services takes on the GSP administration

From October 1, 2003, the Customs Division of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) will be taking over the administration of the fifteen-member European Union (EU), Norway and Switzerland Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). To date, the DTI’s Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria offices were responsible for its administration. The handover of the GSP administration to the Sars has effectively resulted in the remainder of the GSPs being administered by certain South African...

03 October 2003
Strong Rand Not Good for SA's Clothing Exports

Strong Rand Not Good for SA's Clothing Exports

Cape Town - As many as 12 000 textile industry workers stand to lose their jobs by the end of the year, said Walter Simeone, president of the South African Textile Federation. He said that if the rand continued to strengthen indefinitely, about 35 000 people could lose their jobs. He said the strong rand was having a "devastating effect" on the industry. Already about 8 000 workers in the textile industry have lost their jobs since January. This is a result of a stronger rand and the loss this has meant to exporters. Simeone said a stronger...

02 October 2003
Business Leaders to Meet on U.S.-Africa Trade Issues

Business Leaders to Meet on U.S.-Africa Trade Issues

The AGOA Steering Committee of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) announced today December 8 and 9, 2003, as the dates for the Third AGOA Forum Private Sector Session. The Session will focus on U.S.-Africa trade in agriculture, apparel and handicrafts.Business and government leaders from nearly 40 African countries and the United States are expected to attend. According to CCA President Stephen Hayes, the two-day event will feature more than 20 workshops and plenary meetings.In addition, a gala reception and luncheons are expected to...

01 October 2003
Globalisation, AGOA Provide Tanzania Tremendous Opportunities

Globalisation, AGOA Provide Tanzania Tremendous Opportunities

Globalisation and America's Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) offer tremendous opportunities for the Tanzania economy.This is according to the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Robert Royall, as told to scholars and businessmen who attended a seminar in Morogoro last week on how to export agricultural products to the US."Advances in technology bring us closer together," Royall said, adding that "the world becomes a smaller place; people and nations are more connected."He said consumers can benefit from more affordable goods, while businessmen...

19 September 2003
Swaziland's AGOA Privileges May Be Lost Over Workers' Rights

Swaziland's AGOA Privileges May Be Lost Over Workers' Rights

Swaziland is the only African country with US trade privileges that the American Trade Department has been asked to remove from a list of countries eligible for such economic benefits, according to a petition filed by the American Federation of Labour-Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO)."The AFL-CIO petitions for the withdrawal of Swaziland's status as a beneficiary developing country, on the grounds that the government of Swaziland has not been and is not taking steps to afford internationally-recognised worker rights," reads the...

19 September 2003
African Business Needs Cross-Border Links’

African Business Needs Cross-Border Links’

The challenge for African business leaders is to form synergies that will create business link through cross-border investments, Botswana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Jacob Nkate, said in Johannesburg yesterday.“We would thereby prove that South Africa's and Botswana's economic and political stability are the basic attributes essential in promoting investor confidence,” he explained.Nkate said that such attributes were the bedrock of inducing private sector capital to any investment destination.“One of the barometers of this...

19 September 2003
Uganda Keen to Export Organic Foods under AGOA

Uganda Keen to Export Organic Foods under AGOA

Ugandan producers of coffee, vanilla, and honey are here to invade the 39 percent of households in the United States that buy organic and/or natural products, and claim a small share of the $36.4b organic foods market in the US.According to a group from Uganda interviewed, September 8, at the offices of the Whitaker Group, their efforts to promote their organic foods stem in part from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), an innovative U.S. trade program whose aim is to spur sub-Saharan African exports.Whitaker Group is a...

18 September 2003
Tanzania's AGOA Exports Reach $1.3m

Tanzania's AGOA Exports Reach $1.3m

Tanzanian exports to the US under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) doubled in 2002.The country exported $1.3 million worth goods, more than twice the $0.5 million it exported the previous year.The US ambassador to Tanzania, Robert Royall, is optimistic that this year too, the volume of exports will double.However, Mr Royall said: "More has to be done, not by the government, but by the new breed of Tanzania businesspeople who are not afraid of competition, who believe in themselves and who can produce goods that can compete on the...

15 September 2003
Zambian Agricultural Sector Struggling To Utilise AGOA Benefits

Zambian Agricultural Sector Struggling To Utilise AGOA Benefits

ZAMBIA has so far only managed to export one agro produce, snow peas, directly to the American market out of the six that had been earmarked for that market under the American Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).The produce that were being mitigated by experts from the Animal Planting Inspection Health Service (APIHS) an American institution, were babycorn, chillies, green beans, asparagus and magnut.Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) assistant secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya confirmed this yesterday in an interview in...

12 September 2003
US Punts Agoa as Development Tool

US Punts Agoa as Development Tool

The US government claims that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a trade programme that lowers barriers to entry for African products into the giant US market, is evidence of its commitment to development through trade."Agoa shows the power of trade to lift people out of poverty,” said President Goerge W Bush on January this year.In a release submitted yesterday to coincide with trade negotiations taking place in Cancun, Mexico, the US government reported that US imports under Agoa grew to $9-billion in 2002, a 10% increase...

12 September 2003
South African Firm to Tailor Clothing Sector Growth

South African Firm to Tailor Clothing Sector Growth

Cape Town - Independent trust ComMark, which is sponsored by the department for international development in the UK, launched an initiative earlier this week to help spur growth in the clothing industry in southern Africa.ComMark, which has £15 million in funding available for a five year implementation cycle, aims to help developing countries in the region.Executive director Paul Zille said the trust wanted to ensure these countries took advantage of the large employment growth opportunities that the clothing industry offered.In its work,...

12 September 2003
Eligible Countries Gain From Special Trade Programs, USTR Reports

Eligible Countries Gain From Special Trade Programs, USTR Reports

Eligible countries are benefiting from preferential trade programs, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports in a September 9 fact sheet. The fact sheet was issued on the eve of World Trade Organization talks September 10-14 in Cancun, Mexico.-----The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) The United States believes that a free and open trading system is critical to development, and has backed that belief with action. Through AGOA and other preferential trade programs, the...

10 September 2003
Ugandan Growers Seeking Niche in Organic Markets Through AGOA

Ugandan Growers Seeking Niche in Organic Markets Through AGOA

Ugandan producers of coffee, vanilla, and honey are here to invade the 39 percent of households in the United States that buy organic and/or natural products, and claim a small share of the $36.4 billion organic foods market in the U.S.According to a group from Uganda interviewed by the Washington File September 8 at the offices of the Whitaker Group, a trade-consulting firm operated by former assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Africa, Rosa Whitaker, their efforts to promote their organic foods stem in part from the African...

09 September 2003
US-South Africa negotiations for a FTA will prove challenging

US-South Africa negotiations for a FTA will prove challenging

Although South Africa is eligible for special benefits under the 1999 US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), South Africa's clothing exports to the US were increasing more rapidly before AGOA than after AGOA, University of Cape Town Professor David Kaplan has said. Speaking at the Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) conference, the former Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) chief economist said South Africa's share of the US market has been declining post-AGOA, while the share of other African countries that are...

09 September 2003
South Africa: Mastering the Bloc of Trades

South Africa: Mastering the Bloc of Trades

Xavier Carim (44) is the chief trade negotiator in the department of trade and industry. Although he is intimately involved with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks - which start in the Mexican resort city of Cancun this week - Carim is also overseeing the negotiation of free trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association, which comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland; western European countries outside the EU; and the US. The department of trade and industry is also in preliminary discussions with China,...

06 September 2003
Ugandan Sub-Region Promised AGOA Funds

Ugandan Sub-Region Promised AGOA Funds

Dr. Richard Nduhuura, the state minister for trade and industry, has said Lango sub-region would benefit from the strategic intervention fund under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) if farmers went into cotton growing.Nduhuura was last Saturday addressing the Lira branch executive of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Town View Hotel."Lango region is blessed with fertile vast land to boost productivity of various crops. I am optimistic that if the people of Lango embarked on cotton and other crops they would have...

04 September 2003
SA Textile Sector Pleads With Government For Help

SA Textile Sector Pleads With Government For Help

Up to 12000 jobs could be cut this year as sales are expected to drop 10% due to cheap imports and the strong rand FACING its worst hour yet, mainly as a result of the rand's strong gains and cheap imports, the domestic textile sector plans to propose an emergency plan to government to help it recover .South African Textile Federation executive director Brian Brink said sales were expected to drop 10% to R12bn and more than 12 000 jobs in the sector could be cut this year.The industry's pleas are unlikely to be met with enthusiasm from...

04 September 2003
AGOA: Deceleration in SA’s apparel export growth?

AGOA: Deceleration in SA’s apparel export growth?

Apparel exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for the first 6 months of 2003 showed a significant increase over the corresponding period of 2002, according to recently published data by the US Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA). AGOA-eligible apparel exports for the year to June 2003 amounted to $510 million, representing a 41% year-on-year increase. Apparel exports under AGOA represent 75% of total apparel exports from African countries having met the "apparel visa requirements" under the Act. Lesotho continues to...

02 September 2003
Southern Africa Walks the Trade Mile

Southern Africa Walks the Trade Mile

Gaborone - Southern African countries accounted for more than 85 percent of the non-oil exports to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), US senate majority leader Bill Frist heard on Tuesday.Frist and five other senators were in Botswana as guests of the government to learn about progress in co-operation between the US and southern Africa in trade development.Their visit was a follow-up to the establishment, in June 2002, of the Southern African Global Competitiveness Hub in Gaborone, a response to President George W...

28 August 2003
Rand's Surge Hits Clothing Exports

Rand's Surge Hits Clothing Exports

Cape Town - The clothing industry is in a cyclical downturn driven by the strength of the rand, according to Jack Kipling, the president of the Clothing Trade Council of SA (Clotrade).This followed four years of solid growth during which exports had risen at a compound rate of more than 35 percent a year while exports to the US had grown 151 percent in the past two years, Kipling said yesterday. However, exports were now down and imports up due to the rand's appreciation and the cyclical downturn in the sector.This downturn had to be seen in...

20 August 2003
Textile Industry Provides Skein of Jobs

Textile Industry Provides Skein of Jobs

While South Africa has shunned the Asian low-wage path to development through textile and garment manufacture, Lesotho is embracing it wholeheartedly.It's becoming Africa's Singapore or Bangladesh, says Luigi Malvestio, the director of Taiwanese garment manufacturer Lesotho Fancy Garments Group in Maseru.Taiwanese investors - mostly in the rag trade - already employ between one-fifth and one-quarter of Lesotho's workforce.Malvestio told an UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) earlier this year that with the right government...

18 August 2003
Kenya Doubles US Exports under AGOA

Kenya Doubles US Exports under AGOA

Kenya's exports to the United States under the AGOA trade scheme nearly doubled during the first five months of 2003 in comparison to the same period a year earlier.Signs of a boom in Kenya's sales to the US market are contained in a new set of figures published by the US International Trade Commission.From January to May of this year, Kenya shipped $76.4 million worth of goods to the US through Agoa and another preferential programme that eliminates Customs duties on products from eligible countries. The figure for the corresponding portion...

13 August 2003
SACU-US Negotiations: Issues Around Rules of Origin

SACU-US Negotiations: Issues Around Rules of Origin

Southern African Customs Union (SACU) negotiators will have to tread carefully in their talks with the US on the issue of rules of origin as they apply to trade in clothing and textiles. SACU - SA, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia - and the United States are negotiating the removal of barriers to trade in goods and services. The talks began in May and resume this month. As tariffs and quota-based trade barriers have reduced in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) guidelines, rules of origin have become an important feature of...

11 August 2003
Sacu-US trade negotiators set scene for post-AGOA deals

Sacu-US trade negotiators set scene for post-AGOA deals

The portfolio committee on trade and industry was reminded last week that trade negotiations were one of the trickiest aspects of any government's work, especially when it came to preventing any unintended consequences.Indeed, the officials involved often have to do more ducking and diving around major issues of international and domestic concern than many diplomats have to, and if they drop any of the curved balls thrown at them, they face an uproar back home.Xavier Carim, the chief director for trade negotiations in the department of trade...

11 August 2003
Nigeria is Now Reaping Benefits of AGOA - Sasore

Nigeria is Now Reaping Benefits of AGOA - Sasore

The Special Adviser to the president on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), Mrs. Sasore has said that Nigeria has started reaping the benefits of the United States duty-free export law.In a recent meeting with the organised private sector at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), headquarters in Lagos, Mrs. Sosore said AGOA will foster better trade relations between the US and designated sub-saharan African counties of which Nigeria is one."Nigeria hasn't fully taken advantage of AGOA as a result of delays in enacting...

08 August 2003
Strong Currency Squeezes SA's Clothing Industry

Strong Currency Squeezes SA's Clothing Industry

The current strength of the rand is good news for most businesses and consumers, but the clothing and textile industries are bearing the brunt of the stronger currency.The rand's volatility and its current strength against the US dollar is worrying exporters in the clothing industry.Chairman of the Export Council for the Clothing Industry in South Africa, Jack Kipling, said exports of clothing are expected to decline this year, and could lead to job losses."International buyers are able to exercise wide choice in sourcing product from...

08 August 2003
Lesotho's Material Gain

Lesotho's Material Gain

What is SA's loss is our neighbours' gain. Taiwanese textile and clothing companies have established dozens of factories in Lesotho and, more recently, Swaziland to take advantage of favourable export deals between Africa and the US. What is interesting though is why they are avoiding SA, which is also one of the beneficiaries of the African Growth & Opportunity Act (Agoa) that provides duty-free access to clothing and textile imports from 35 African countries. The first Taiwanese investment drive into the region came in the 1980s when they...

08 August 2003
Govt Seeks Business Views On US Free Trade Pact

Govt Seeks Business Views On US Free Trade Pact

The department of trade and industry (DTI) is to consult widely with local business, and within Nedlac, on the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States.DTI's chief negotiator in the trade talks, Xavier Carim, on Thursday told Parliament's trade and industry portfolio committee that government would spend the coming "few months" interacting with business, as the negotiations gather pace.It was hoped the final agreement, between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the US, would be in place by the end of next year,...

07 August 2003
SACU-US FTA Negotiators Hope to Reach Agreement

SACU-US FTA Negotiators Hope to Reach Agreement

Mr Xavier Carim, South Africa' Chief Director for Trade negotiations, says the Southern African Custom Union (SACU) and the United States will find ways to manage 'sensitive issues' such as agricultural subsidies as negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) progresses.Briefing the media after the second round of the FTA's two-day long negotiations in Johannesburg yesterday, Mr Carim said the sensitive issues of agricultural subsidies, textile and clothing would be 'managed' come the 2004 deadline.'There are areas on Sacu's side where we...

07 August 2003
Lesotho Weaves Its Way From Rags to Riches

Lesotho Weaves Its Way From Rags to Riches

An Inspector hired by the US-based retail chain The Gap is measuring up a garment at the Lesotho Fancy Garments Group.He has spent two months at the sprawling factory in the capital Maseru ensuring that standards are up to scratch to meet the requirements for The Gap's order."It's all been fine. No problems so far," says Jimmy Lasum.Apart from making garments for The Gap, Lesotho Fancy Garments Group is also manufacturing for US department stores, including JC Penney, Target, WalMart and Sears.The economy of tiny Lesotho with a population of...

01 August 2003
A Stich in Time - FTA's and AGOA

A Stich in Time - FTA's and AGOA

The proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the United States will open new markets for the customs union countries. It also has potential pitfalls. SACU, whose members are South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, began trade talks with the US in May and these will resume this month. The proposed FTA will be the second most significant trade relationship exercise between the US and African countries after the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA removes US import...

01 August 2003