TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenyan EPZ in Trouble

Thursday, 05 February 2004

Source: Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

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 extension, but we should also use the remaining time," he said.

Some of the textile factories that export to the US market include Dinesh Textiles, Caratex Botswana and Rising Sun.

The minister talked about the good things that the extension would bring to the country's textile industry.

"It means we would continue to market Botswana because we have access to AGOA unlike other countries," he said adding: "investors are keen to invest in the country because of the peace and tranquillity and the bigger US market".

Nkate supported the position held by the US and textile manufacturers over the positive things the extension would bring to Botswana.

Spokesman for the Southern African Global Competitiveness Hub in Gaborone, Erran Prisely has said in the past that he was optimistic the US would extend AGOA.

"I can confirm that negotiations are underway for the extension of AGOA - which would be called AGOA III. I feel confident that it would be extended because it is quite a success," Prisely said.

He added that the US Congress could give the go ahead for its extension as the State Department felt AGOA is important for the sub-continent.

"The US government may extend it to 2011 and it means Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) would be coming this way. It is good news for exporters," he said.

One of the local companies that export to the US market, Rising Sun said the success of the negotiations would enable them employ more people in order to reach the market quotas.

The textile firm's Managing Director Danny Yu said that the market expectation is very high in the US.

"We are still waiting for the approval of AGOA II whose term expires at the end of the year and we hope that government would fight for its extension," Yu said

The Managing Director of White Dove, Marea Kereng said that they made their first delivery to the US on Wednesday.

"We made our first part delivery under AGOA of about 30, 000 units. This is a trial order of 60,000 units," Kareng said.

The firm, which started twelve years ago, produces various products like trousers and dresses and employs around 270 workers and they expect to increase their employees to 400-600 depending on funding to put up buildings.

AGOA is a trade initiative implemented by the US president, George Bush, which creates a duty free market for firms in African countries with democratic principles. Countries that export under AGOA agreement include Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia.



Latest AGOA Trade Data on AGOA.info

Click here to view a sector profile of Botswana’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.



Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include:

  • All Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Overview

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.