Madagascar textile sector posts 20% growth in 2011
The textile industry in Madagascar, an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, has recorded 20 percent growth last year, the Group of Free Enterprises and Partners (GEFP or Groupement des entreprises franches et partenaires) has said.
The increase in the sector's performance is mainly owing to a rise in exports of Malagasy products to the European markets, said Charles Giblin, President of GEFP.
Mr. Giblin said while the year 2011 was good for the country’s textile sector, the performance in 2012 remains uncertain, especially due to financial crisis affecting France, the largest importer of Malagasy textile products.
The ongoing crisis in France and other European countries is likely to reduce consumption and may result in less number of orders. However, the growing market in Asian countries may well offer an opportunity for Malagasy textiles, he added.
He further informed that a leading Japanese company has expressed interest to invest in development of cotton sector in Madagascar. If this materializes, it could provide a good opportunity for the country’s textile industry to enter the Japanese market.
Meanwhile, the announcement by President Andry Rajoelina last month that the free zone regime will continue and it even be improved, has brought cheer to textile sector businesses in the country.
The free zone regime adopted in 2008 was scheduled to expire last year and entrepreneurs were operating in an environment of uncertainty until the announcement. The President’s announcement has brought a huge sigh of relief to exporters in the free zone area.
While some companies have collapsed after Madagascar’s suspension from Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits, many have resurrected with gaining access to other markets. However, there are dim chances of Madagascar getting back the benefits under AGOA this year.