TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Madagascar: Clothing producers face hard times following AGOA suspension

Friday, 22 October 2010 Published: | Just-Style.com

Source: Just-Style.com

Madagascar's textile and clothing sector has been harmed by the country's suspension from the US African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), after losing these trade benefits last December.

"More than 60,000 jobs were lost since the beginning of this year when Hong Kong companies were closed down with the removal of these trade facilities," says John Hargreaves, vice-chairman of the Madagascar Export Processing Zone Association. The duty-free concessions were removed by Washington after President Andry Rajoelina seized power in March 2009 with army backing.

Madagascan clothing exports to the United States earned US$229m for the year to October 2009 and US$278m the previous year, according to association statistics.

Some slack has been redirected towards European exports, however, for instance by Aquarelle Madagascar, a unit of the Mauritius-based CIEL Group, which employs 10,000 in Madagascar.

"We have reviewed our marketing strategy following the Americans' decision, maximising our exports towards the European and South African markets," explains general manager Ayaz Tajoo. He adds US-bound production had been shifted to Mauritius, which still benefits from AGOA facilities.

Madagascar's textile industry has generated US$600m in earnings in recent years, around 6.5% to 8% of GDP. Almost half its clothing and textile production was exported to US markets, before the AGOA suspension.

View related news articles

Kenya: Apparel firms ride on Corona battle

Kenya: Apparel firms ride on Corona battle

The apparel sector is one of those targeted by the government for expansion in a bid to bolster the economy and create jobs. Although it has been identified as a key pillar of the economy, the textile sector has for long remained in the doldrums. The government has instituted a number of measures and demonstrated renewed commitment over the recent past to boost the...

19 May, 2020
US retailers rally to 'close trade margins in Africa and Haiti'

US retailers rally to 'close trade margins in Africa and Haiti'

US retailers and clothing brands are asking Congress to demolish the bipartisan foundation of our groundbreaking economic partnership with Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a uniquely bipartisan effort to help unlock the continent's vast potential. The lobbying is also an effort to undermine the opportunities provided to Haiti, this hemisphere's...

11 December, 2019
Mali obtains third-country-fabric eligibility under AGOA's apparel provisions

Mali obtains third-country-fabric eligibility under AGOA's apparel provisions

The US has designated West African country Mali as a lesser-developed beneficiary country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The decision was included in a presidential proclamation outlining a number of changes to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) following regular eligibility reviews, product reviews, and beneficiary developing country...

05 November, 2019
Botswana: AGOA dream dims for local textile sector

Botswana: AGOA dream dims for local textile sector

Local textile and apparel producers appear to be giving up hope of exporting to the United States under the duty-free AGOA provisions, preferring instead to focus on the local and regional markets, BusinessWeek has established. AGOA is a trade arrangement between the US and sub-Saharan Africa running till 2025 and providing relaxed access to the American market. Textiles...

30 August, 2019
US delegation reaffirms commitment to Ghana’s apparel manufacturing industry

US delegation reaffirms commitment to Ghana’s apparel manufacturing industry

The United States of America has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Ghana’s apparel manufacturing industry. This follows a visit of a high-level U.S Congressional Delegation including its Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Ghana’s largest apparel manufacturer in West Africa, Dignity Do the Right Thing (DTRT) located in Adabraka, Accra. Speaking to JoyBusiness at the visit...

30 July, 2019
Nigeria: Take advantage of AGOA textile visa stamp, NEPC tasks garment manufacturers

Nigeria: Take advantage of AGOA textile visa stamp, NEPC tasks garment manufacturers

Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. Olusegun Awolowo has charged garment manufacturers to take full advantage of the recently launched AGOA Visa Stamp in Lagos. According to him, the exporters in the sector must not allow the golden opportunity slip away from them. Represented by the Deputy Director, National Export Office, NEPC, Mr....

18 June, 2019