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Swaziland: Textile industry recovers 70 percent of international orders

Published date:
Thursday, 21 August 2008

The local textile industry could be going back to its ‘hey-day’ as it has managed to recover over 70 percent of orders they lost through the mass strike action that was staged early this year.

The industry is just recovering from the strike that resulted in about 16 000 workers downing their tools, in an effort to coerce their employers to improve their salaries, amongst other demands.

This mass action, that lasted for over two weeks, resulted in the companies losing some of their major orders from the United States of America (USA) and Southern African countries, amongst others.

Chairman of the Swaziland Textile and Exporters Association (STEA) John Sheng Neng Fan confirmed that their orders were coming back and that they had recovered over 70 percent of them.

"We are optimistic that by October or November, most of them would have been recovered. We are ecstatic about the latest developments because it was becoming more difficult for us to continue working with fewer orders," he said.

Most of the textile companies export their products under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) regime that facilitates better trade between the African countries and the USA.

Fan said they were quite impressed with the latest developments and will continue to work hard to meet the demands of their customers.

"We had to inform our clients that things have normalised after the strike and requested them to continue placing their orders with us," he explained. The situation was so bad such that some of the textile companies had to lay off some of their staff due to the inadequate orders.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Swaziland’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.

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