TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Uganda: Policy for Textiles needed

Monday, 30 October 2006

Source: Yarns and

LACK of a clear policy on textile industry is the reason for poor performance of the textile sector, the Managing Director Phoenix Logistics, Mr Yuichi Kashiwada, has said.

For this reason, Kashiwada said, Uganda has failed to favourably compete on the international market.

Kashiwada was sharing his experience in the textile business to the visiting eight-man delegation of textile producers from the United States at Grand Imperial Hotel on October 25.

"All what the textile industry in Uganda needs is a quick implementation of a textile policy for proper coordination," he said.

The meeting was organised by the Uganda Investment Authority together with the East African America Business Council, an agency promoting business opportunities between East Africa and the US.

Kashiwada said that if Ugandans are to do meaningful business, the country has to first deal with internal challenges such as poor infrastructure, lack of capital for adding value, high production costs, and high lending rates among others.

"The country still lacks people who are knowledgeable about the of textile industry."

This outcry comes at a time when one of the country's channel to penetrate the African Growth Oppotunities Act (Agoa ) market, Tri-Star Apparels (U) Ltd is in its final stage of winding up because of bankruptcy. Tri-Star started operations in 2001, exporting apparel to the US under the Agoa programme worth $4 million (Shs7.3 billion).

Phoenix Logistics is the other company in Uganda, which is venturing into the exportation of textiles to the US under the Agoa initiative.

Phoenix, and Tri-Star are some of the textile mills in country that have involved in value addition. The majority of other companies are still failing to add value even with the existence of raw organic cotton because they lack modern machinery.Cotton once a major export commodity of Uganda in the 60s and 70s declined from peak of 466, 775 bales to 25,000 bales in the late 90s.

Although the production is steadily taking an upward trend according to records from the Cotton Development Organisation, it still falls short of its peak levels. Production from 31 districts increased from 160,000 to 250,000 bales, earning the country close to $37m (Shs68 billion).

While the country stands to earn best prices from value addition, most of the cotton produced is sold as lint for lack of big mills to produce the good quality yarn. The US textile producers urged their Ugandan counterpart to utilise the competitive advantage in organic cotton production to compete favourably with countries like China, India, and Bangladesh some of the biggest producers.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Uganda’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: (click each link to view)

  • 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.