TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

AGOA and BEE complementary’

Thursday, 10 June 2004

Source: New Vision (Kampala)

Zambian president Patrick Levy Mwanawasa has invited the Apparels Tri-Star managers to set up a similar plant in Zambia.

Mwanawasa, who was accompanied by his wife and his economic adviser, Dr. Moses Banda, was yesterday guided around the Bugolobi plant by Tri-Star managing director Vellipillai Kananathan.

Uganda's presidential adviser on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Susan Muhwezi, was there.

"I am very delighted with what I have seen in Uganda, especially the factory. I do invite you to come and set up the same facility in Zambia," said Mwanawasa.

He said it was unfortunate Zambia was exporting its cotton as a raw material instead of turning it into high value fabric before export.

"There is a lot of cotton down in Zambia but unfortunately we export it as a raw material, making us earn less compared to exporting it as a finished product," he said.

He said there was need for African leaders to focus on the development of their economies.

"Previously, African leaders were advocating the liberation of the economies but now it is time to talk about development," the president said.

Kananathan said the plant was making an annual wage bill of sh2.4b.

"The commissioning of this second factory will create 800 new jobs for Ugandans. This will increase our wage bill to approximately sh3.4b per annum," he said.

He said Tri-Star would set up a spinning mill in the same premises to add value to local cotton.

"Uganda's cotton is considered one of the best conventional cotton in the world. Out of the 160,000 bales of cotton produced, only 10% is utilised here in Uganda, while 90% is exported as raw cotton. The importers are making major profits by converting it into yarn and then into fabric," he said.

Kananathan added that by setting up the spinning mill, this extra value would be retained in Uganda to help the development of the textile sector in the country.

"This objective, once achieved, will help to realise the utmost benefits from this sector.

"The complete value-addition generated at every stage of the process stays within our economy. This will stand in good stead when AGOA 111 expires in 2007," he said.

Under AGOA, selected African countries export tax-free products to the United States of America.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data on

Click here to view a sector profile of Zambia’s bilateral trade with the United States (click here for Uganda), disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include:

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • 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.