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Nigeria: Weavers, Spinners form AGOA Committee

Published date:
Tuesday, 27 July 2004

Namibia continues to make inroads into the US garment market thanks to AGOA. This is according to the most recent trade data, which shows that on a year-on-year basis (January to May) garment exports to the US have increased three-fold from US$ 7,8mn to US$21.5mn. Even after factoring in the stronger local currency, US-bound exports have increased dramatically not only by value but also by volume. Measured in ‘Square Meter Equivalent’ (SME), the volume of Namibia’s garment exports to the US has increased year-on-year from 1,85mn SME to 5,4mn SME.

Namibia was a relative late-comer to AGOA’s wearing apparel provisions, which grants African beneficiary countries duty-free access to the US market for garment exports. Following the substantial Greenfields-type investment in a large vertically integrated textile mill by Malaysian-owned Ramatex, Namibia has now overtaken Malawi, Botswana and Ghana in terms of the volume of garments produced for the US market.

Although a part of AGOA, countries first have to implement a visa system to the satisfaction of US authorities in order to export garments under AGOA. Namibia fulfilled these requirements on December 3, 2001, more than a year after the original inception of AGOA.

After changes were made to the original AGOA legislation, often referred to as “AGOA II”, Namibia was declared a lesser-developed beneficiary country. This meant that Namibian garment producers were allowed, for a limited period only, to source fabrics from abroad. South Africa and Mauritius, on the other hand, do not benefit from this dispensation and must use local or regional fabrics. [The third-country waiver was recently extended by a further three years to 2007]. Despite the waiver, Namibia’s garment exports were produced solely from local or regionally-sourced fabrics, placing the country at a distinct advantage when the rules of origin are tightened in 2007.

At a disaggregated level, an analysis of Namibia’s garment exports (this year, Jan-May) to the US reveals that they are made up mostly of cotton sweaters and pullovers, knitted or crocheted (HS 6102: US$ 7,7mn, up 47% year-on-year), womens’ cotton blouses or shirts, knitted or crocheted (HS 6106: US$ 5,9mn, up 6,000% year-on-year) and womens’ cotton trousers (HS 6104, US$ 4,4mn, up 162% year-on-year). The total value of Namibia’s garment exports under AGOA was US$ 32,1mn in 2003, and US$ 1,5mn in 2002.

Besides garments, Namibia’s AGOA-eligible exports are made up mostly of minerals and metals.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data on

Click here to view a sector profile of Namibia’s bilateral trade with the United States, 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.

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