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SA: Agoa Expiry Will Hang Local Textiles Out To Dry

The future of a US law on which Kenya has hitched a lift to spawn a $164 million industry and create 30,000-plus jobs might lie in California.Sources have told BusinessWeek that when the two draft Agoa (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Bills, which have been tabled before Congress are eventually harmonised into one, a Republican from the western seaboard state, Bill Thomas, who chairs the House's powerful Ways and Means Committee, is expected to play a central role in any emerging dispensation.In fact, keen watchers of the progress of the...

02 March 2004

Cameroon: AGOA Concerned With Environmental Problems

Last year South African exports to the US rose to a record level of about $4,9-billion, the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) reports.Precious metals and stones and automobiles, parts and accessories together accounting for 56% of this total.The top ten export product groups reportedly continued to account for 84% of total exports to the US up from 78% in 1994.Sacob also said that exports have grown 145% since 1994 with the most dramatic step up coming in 2000 and 2001 with the advent of the Agoa, which has been a significant...

28 February 2004

Automotive Exports Rise 34% Under AGOA

The American-supported Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has identified environmentally related problems such as water purification as one of its priorities. The Director of the AGOA Training Centre based in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, Mrs Soppo B. Ngalle says, the distribution of drinking water purification machines is among the various opportunities so far identified by the AGOA management. Others centre around trade in textile and craft, fruit processing and low-cost housing.Mrs Soppo Ngalle is preparing a series of sensitisation...

26 February 2004

USTR Zoellick Sees Progress On Advancing Doha Trade Agenda

Data published a few days ago by the United States International Trade Commission for the year 2003 reveals that US imports of transportation equipment under AGOA rose 34% in $-terms between 2002 and 2003. African exports in this category rose from US$ 545 million in 2002 to US$ 732 million last year. A closer analysis shows that South Africa is the only AGOA-beneficiary country exporting transportation equipment under AGOA. ‘Transportation equipment’ includes motor vehicles (cars, trucks and buses), engines and certain motor vehicle...

24 February 2004

SA's Exports Grow To $4,9bn In 2003

The local clothing industry would lose its advantage in terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) when the agreement on textiles and clothing was terminated at the end of the year, Brian Brink, the executive director of the Textile Federation, said at the weekend. The agreement has protected the US domestic industry by imposing quotas on imports, but these have not applied to sub-Saharan Africa countries that are eligible for duty- and quota-free imports under Agoa. Terminating the agreement would flood the US market with cheap...

24 February 2004

Tapping the US Market Through AGOA

African trade ministers failed to secure an extension of the US-led African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) at the Mombasa consultative meeting.Africa had appealed to Washington to act urgently on a long-standing request to extend the pact that boosts African exports to the United States.Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa, Florizelle Liser, though not giving a definite date for the extension, however, noted that the US legislators were planning to introduce a new Bill by mid-year that would set dates for the extension of the Agoa...

20 February 2004

Decision on AGOA Extension Deferred

"Little by little we make progress" in advancing the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Doha agenda -- a cause to which President Bush remains fully committed -- United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick told reporters February 18.Following talks in Mombasa, Kenya, with African trade ministers, European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, and World Trade Organization Director-general Supachai Panitchpakdi, Zoellick told waiting reporters, "We have hard work ahead, but I leave this session with a feeling of...

20 February 2004

Nigerians Urged to Maximise AGOA's Benefits

Analysis: Trade statistics released a few days ago by the US Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel, confirms Lesotho as the dominant beneficiary of duty-free access to the vast US market for apparel under AGOA. Lesotho’s share of apparel exports under AGOA amounted to 31% (or $ 372 million) in 2003. AGOA removes import duties on a vast range of goods produced in Africa, although to date the clothing manufacturing sector has been one of the largest single beneficiaries.Lesotho qualifies for a temporary waiver from AGOA’s...

17 February 2004

Latest Apparel Export Data for 2003 Confirms Lesotho’s Top Spot

Nigerian exporters have been implored to concentrate on processed products in order to gain easier access to the American market under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).President Olusegun Obasanjo made the appeal during an audience with an American delegation led by Congressman William Jefferson at the State House. He urged the United States Congress to make AGOA work for Nigeria.Congressman William Jefferson had earlier commended President Obasanjo's efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and on the New Partnership for Africa's...

17 February 2004

Nigeria's President Obasanjo Advises Country's Exporters

East Africa may be forced to look beyond the garment sector and develop new product lines to survive Asian competition for the US market once the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) quota restrictions on textile and apparel imports are lifted next year.It is expected that the low-cost and high-volume textile and apparel producers of Asia, notably China, India and Pakistan, will crowd out the fledgling textile producers from East Africa and other developing countries from US markets, making it difficult for them to continue reaping the...

16 February 2004

East Africa Faces Asian Tigers as AGOA Quotas Go

Kenya's flower industry is widely seen as the fastest growing area in a stagnant economy. Bringing in Ksh20 billion ($256.4 million) annually in foreign exchange, the industry is a leading employer, with an estimated 500,000 people deriving their livelihood from it.With an annual production of 35,000 tonnes and control of 60 per cent of the $165 million African flower trade, Kenya is the world's leading producer of flowers, supplying about 25 per cent of the European Union's total requirements, followed by Columbia and Israel.Kenya's success...

16 February 2004

Lesotho: Despite AGOA, Challenges Ahead

Nigerian firms and Nigeria as a whole have a lot to benefit from active participation in the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), the Special Adviser to the President on AGOA, Mrs. Modupe Sasore, has said.She said this, yesterday, while speaking on the topic "The Role of Information Communication in Trade Globalisation and the AGOA Programme" at the formal inauguration of Nigeria AGOA Resource Centre by the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce and West African Trade Hub (WATH) in Victoria Island, Lagos state.Sasore however, said that...

13 February 2004

Kenya: Textiles Extension Urgently Needed

Despite severe weather conditions and regional food shortages, Lesotho's economy performed well in the 2002/03 fiscal year, concluded a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) review.The economy grew by almost four percent, from less than three-and-a-half percent in the previous year. Much of the improvement was attributed to strong textile exports to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).Lesotho received preferential access to US markets under AGOA in 2000, including an exception from AGOA rules of origin...

12 February 2004

Botswana Optimistic About AGOA Extension

Comesa members are lobbying for a two-year extension of the first phase of the African Growth Opportunity Act. Heads of State from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa will meet in Kampala in May to strengthen their campaign for the extension, Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi said yesterday.He said Kenya supported the initiative proposed by the US Congress.The three-year-old Agoa agreement gives African countries until September to stop using materials from third party countries and start utilising locally produced...

10 February 2004

Comesa Seeks Extra Time Before New AGOA

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) fabric window is likely to get a two-year extension, according to Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi. The preferential Agoa term is due to end in September 2004. The lapse of the facility would mean Kenya starts using locally produced cotton for the manufacture of textiles and garments destined for the American market. However, Kenya's weak cotton sub-sector cannot satisfactorily meet the domestic demand for cotton, thus her decision to lobby for an extra four-year extension. Speaking...

10 February 2004

Closure of Clothes Firm is Okay, Says Kenyan Chamber

Workers at an EPZ firm in Mombasa went on strike yesterday to push for better pay and improved working conditions.About 3,000 employees of Emke EPZ Garments Ltd in Changamwe vowed not to resume work until their grievances were addressed.The workers, majority of them women, camped at the factory's compound from the morning as the management refused to address them.The future of the factory hangs on the balance with the strike coming just a week after Trade and Industry Minister Mukhisa Kituyi closed the Lihua Garment Factory on the same EPZ...

06 February 2004

Kenyan EPZ in Trouble

Botswana's Minister for Trade and Industry, Jacob Nkate, sounded optimistic that the ongoing negotiations between the US government and congress over the extension of Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) would be successful. "We are hopeful that AGOA will be extended to 2015," Nkate told Business Week yesterday.He was commenting after his tour of Tswana Steel and White Dove, firms that have created massive job opportunities for the people of Ramotswa Village and who also export to the US market under AGOA."I am confident of the...

05 February 2004

Kenyan Minister Cancels AGOA Firm's Licence Correspondent

The Mombasa branch of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday backed the weekend closure of a Chinese company linked to clothing imports for re-export to the US under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa).Branch secretary Alex Mwangeka said the Government had lost millions of shillings through such imports.On Saturday, Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi ordered Lihua Garments - operating from Mombasa's Export Processing Zone - closed and its directors arrested.Mr Mwangeka said Kenya risked losing the...

03 February 2004

How Zambia Can Fully Exploit AGOA Provisions

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, yesterday cancelled the trading license of a Chinese firm and ordered the arrest of its officials.Dr Kituyi took the action against Lihua Garments Kenya EPZ Co Ltd over a Sh960-million scam at Mombasa port. The company, which manufactures garments for export to America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), was found to be importing ready-made garments."It is an extremely grave matter for this country if products being exported to America duty-free under the Agoa...

01 February 2004

US Releases 4th Annual Trade and Investment Report with Africa

Susan Muhwezi, the presidential assistant on AGOA, told Parliament on Tuesday that Tri-Star had signed a new agreement with Sunquest Apparel, a US firm to supply garments worth nearly $10m.She said Sunquest had made a commitment to build a weaving and spinning plant in Uganda to utilise local cotton. "I don't know exactly when the plant will start operating. But they have just finished carrying out the pilot study," Muhwezi said.She lauded Tri-Star and its chief Velupillai Kananathan "for the tremendous growth in the manufacture and export...

30 January 2004

Uganda's Tri-Star Scoops Fresh $10m US Garment Contract

A further weakening of the dollar against major currencies this year may have a negative effect on exports from sub-Saharan Africa, warns Henry Flint of Standard Bank's economics division.This includes exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).The impact might be twofold, he says. Lower demand from the US brought about by the weaker dollar may result in a slowdown in imports into the US from countries which benefit from Agoa."A weaker dollar may also see further appreciation in the currencies of some of the main Agoa...

30 January 2004

AGOA III looks set for Passage this Year

South Africa is still one of America's largest African trading partners, even as trade between the US and Africa fell during 2002, a US report showed. The decline in trade between the US and Africa has been ascribed to a decline in US exports of transportation goods and a decrease in energy exports from Africa. But trade is likely to pick up in coming years because of a deal between Washington and several African nations and a new US energy policy, said the study from the US International Trade Commission (ITC). In 2002, US-sub-Saharan...

29 January 2004

SA Firm as US-Africa Trade Dips

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released U.S.-Trade and Investment with Sub-Saharan Africa, the fourth in a series of reports intended to assist the President in developing a comprehensive trade and development policy for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, conducted the investigation for the United States Trade Representative (USTR). As requested by USTR, the ITC's study is limited to the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The current report...

29 January 2004

Asst. USTR Touts AGOA, Diversification of Production

America's effort to promote economic development in Africa will be eroded significantly if the Bush administration and the U.S. Congress do not work together to quickly extend a key provision of African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).In the view of Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, Agoa is the best thing to happen to Africa since the onset of independence. Many in Africa and the United States agree.When signed into law in 2000 by President Clinton, Agoa was unique in concept. The goal was to stimulate job creation and help integrate...

26 January 2004

Uganda: AGOA Officials to Brief Parliament

Women Entrepreneurs Development Association of Zambia (WEDAZ) has appealed to Government for support in order for them to penetrate the AGOA market.WEDAZ chairperson Irene Imasiku said in Lusaka yesterday that there was need for Government to ensure that it supports organisations aimed at reducing poverty levels in Zambia.Ms Imasiku said her association was supposed to attend the AGOA conference in the United States but could not do so due to lack of funding.She said Government through the ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) took...

23 January 2004

AGOA Officials to Brief Ugandan Parliament

Combining education with a willingness to work hard, the new Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Africa has made the American dream of upward mobility come true for herself. Now Florizelle Liser is pouring her energies into helping Africans achieve individual and national prosperity through increased exports to the U.S. market, touting self-reliance, discipline and sheer hard work.Speaking in her office next to the White House, Liser told the Washington File January 12 that her family immigrated to New York City from Panama. "I...

23 January 2004

Keeping AGOA Alive

The third version of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) seems set to be passed this year in spite of the American presidential elections. This is the view of Ways and Means democrat Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash) who has left his current portfolio to champion the AGOA III Bill as a matter of urgency. While the current African Growth and Opportunity Act will only expire in 2008, African beneficiary countries are urging Congress to act now so that potential investors will feel secure about doing business in the region. If the AGOA III...

23 January 2004

Kenya: Flowers a Growing Sector Amid Recession

At this particular period of time when most African countries are faced with economic difficulties the need to tap the lucrative American market by taking advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows non-quota, duty-free entry of a range of African products such as textiles and leather goods into the US market from countries adhering to open market reforms, is becoming more and more evident. It will be recalled that sometime ago the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the fourth biennial US-Africa business...

23 January 2004

Multi-Million Garment Scam Exposed At Kenyan Port

Onegi Obel, the presidential advisor on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and his assistant, Susan Muhwezi, will today make the case for the trade pact before the House committee on finance.AGOA allows selected African countries quota'duty-free access to the US market.Committee chairman, Maj. Bright Rwamirama on Tuesday told colleagues, "We were supposed to meet them last year before the recess, but they were not readily available. But now, we want to put an end to this business and report to the house," he said.The committee was...

22 January 2004

Support Us to Penetrate AGOA -- WEDAZ

Onegi Obel, the presidential advisor on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and his assistant, Susan Muhwezi, will today make the case for the trade pact before the House committee on finance.AGOA allows selected African countries quota'duty-free access to the US market.Committee chairman, Maj. Bright Rwamirama on Tuesday told colleagues, "We were supposed to meet them last year before the recess, but they were not readily available. But now, we want to put an end to this business and report to the house," he said.The committee was...

22 January 2004

Zambia: Misplaced Excitement over AGOA?

Zambia is hoping to see a significant increase in its exports to the United States under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).Under AGOA, which was signed into law on 18 May 2000, eligible countries are allowed tariff preferences when exporting to US markets by expanding duty-free benefits to a range of products, from agricultural goods to textiles. It also offers African nations incentives to open up their economies.Zambia was informed last week that it had passed the AGOA annual review and would continue to benefit from tariff...

19 January 2004

US Outlines its Africa Policy Priorities

Downstream textile industries need to be developed so that Zambia can benefit from its eligibility for continued tariff preferences under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Ndola Chamber of Commerce (NCC) has said.Speaking in an interview yesterday, NCC chairman Ramesh Patel said the textile industry needed a lot of support to grow.He said Government should also help offset manufacturers' export freight costs from Zambia to ports of exit which were all far away.He said Government could help meet export costs or completely...

19 January 2004

AGOA's Success Proves Its Soundness

A multi-million shilling garment import racket has been exposed at the port of Mombasa.Unscrupulous businessmen have been using the port to import ready-made garments from Far East for re-export to America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).Five people are in police custody and a container with contraband goods is being detained by the Kenya Revenue Authority at the port, according to Corporate Affairs Manager Lucy Njoe.The interception of the garments follows another incident in which KRA seized two containers after the...

19 January 2004

Bush Confirms Zambia's Continued Eligible for AGOA in 2004

"There's no need to get excited with the announcement that United States President George Bush has declared Zambia eligible for continued tariff preferences under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)" - according to an Editorial in Lusaka, Zambia's The Post newspaper.And Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry public relations officer Conrad Simuchile says Zambia's continued eligibility to AGOA preferences, which was done on an annual basis, signified the country's steady progress towards a market-based economy, free trade,...

16 January 2004

Kenyan Thread Firm Seals Licensing Deal

Interview with Uganda's Minister Muhwezi on the country's challenges relating to AGOA.QUESTION: Your office is now one year old. Anything to write home about? A: It has been a good and challenging year. We started at the time when a conference on competitiveness was held in Kampala. That is where the President met Kumar (Dewapura), the owner of Tri- Star Sri Lanka. He invited him to start a garment factory here. We helped the investor to establish the factory. This was a success because we were able to export textile exports to the US for...

15 January 2004

AGOA is a Reality - Uganda's Muhwezi

United States President George Bush has declared Zambia eligible for continued tariff preferences under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry public relations officer Conrad Simuchile confirmed the development yesterday.Simuchile stated that American Ambassador to Zambia, Martin Brennan, communicated the development to commerce minister Dipak Patel.Simuchile said Zambia's continued eligibility to AGOA preferences, which was done on an annual basis, signified the country's steady progress...

15 January 2004

Zambia: US Renews Agoa Status

With one year left in President Bush's current term, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Charles R. Snyder said his team will be focusing on "finishing business," and maybe taking on one or two new priority projects.At a December 9 meeting with journalists in his State Department office, Snyder cited three priorities that his team hopes to bring to completion this year: peace in Sudan; an expansion of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); and an increase in the number of African countries that enjoy sovereign...

14 January 2004

Kenya Challenged by AGOA

Swarp Spinning Mills Plc says the firm has benefited indirectly from Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) through its products that have been re-exported from other countries to the United States.Swarp marketing director Ranjit Mistry, said the company exported cotton yarn to various countries like Mauritius and to Western Europe.He said the United States, under the AGOA, had put conditions for countries dealing in clothing to use cotton yarn of African origin.Mr Mistry said countries like Mauritius could only export clothing to the United...

13 January 2004

Zambian Spinning Mill Benefits From AGOA

A local thread manufacturer has bagged licensing rights for a key American brand in its efforts to crack the Agoa market.The deal signed last week between Fine Spinners and American & Effird (A&E) will enable the former to sell thread to local garment manufacturers, which sell exclusively to the US under the tariff-free terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).A&E, which is the world's second biggest thread manufacturer, is a preferred supplier to some of the leading clothing design houses and apparel makers in the US.Managing...

13 January 2004

African Exporters Under AGOA Advised to 'Compete' And 'Diversify'

The US has dropped the Central African Republic (CAR) from its list of countries eligible for tariff preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the White House said on Tuesday.A proclamation issued by President Bush deleted the CAR, along with Eritrea, from the list of eligible nations because the CAR was "not making continual progress in meeting the requirements" for trade preferences. AGOA was signed into law on 18 May 2000 and was designed by the US to offer incentives to African nations to open up their economies....

04 January 2004

Central African Republic removed from AGOA eligibility list

In a proclamation issued December 30, President Bush included Angola on a list of countries eligible for trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), while dropping the Central African Republic and Eritrea from that list. [note: the Central African Republic regained AGOA eligibility through a Proclamation by US President Barack Obama on 15 December 2016] The Central African Republic and Eritrea, according to the White House document, were cut from the list because they did not meet eligibility...

31 December 2003

Pres. Bush Issues AGOA Proclamation on Country Eligibility

The president of the United States of America, George W. Bush, released on Tuesday, a statement pointing out Angola as eligible and beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), according to a press note of that country's embassy.The document, without outlining any more details, explains that AGOA has increased USA's trade with Sub-Saharian Africa, helping to create thousands of employments and investment in African countries.Click here to view the press release in the AGOA.info news archive.

31 December 2003