TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Malawi: Govt, Private Sector differ on AGOA Fabric Legislation

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Source: The Daily Times (Malawi)

Malawi's government and the private sector have differed on implementation of Agoa statues that bans export of garments made from imported materials beyond 2008.

Under African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa), developing countries like Malawi are allowed to export garments made from imported raw materials to the United States of America (USA) on preferential treatment.

The private sector want to continue exporting garments from imported materials under Agoa, while government are for utilization of local materials.

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Private Sector Development Ken Lipenga said Monday government is for the extension of Agoa trade agreement, but not its policies.

"If the private sector is aiming for Agoa extension, then we are together, but to change the policy to allow those using imported raw materials export, would kill our own agricultural sector," Lipenga said.

Cotton, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of garments is currently losing appeal to local farmers due to the insatiable appetite by garment manufactures for imported raw materials.

Lipenga said the use of local cotton would boost cotton farming, as companies would acquire it from the farmers in the country and offer them better prices.

The conflict of interest topped the manufactures meeting last week that aimed at lobbying government to support extension of exporting garments without local content on the global market.

Agoa extends preferential access of imports from beneficiary Sub-Saharan countries until September 2015, the fabric provision was for three years from 2004 to 2007.

The establishment of Agoa has provided for the importation of goods worth $448 million to the US with a job creation of 150,000 since 2000 when it was approved.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Malawi’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.