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Swaziland: More jobs to be created with renewal of AGOA provision

Swaziland: More jobs to be created with renewal of AGOA provision
Swaziland textile worker
Published date:
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Swaziland Observer

With the renewal of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) provision of sourcing fabric beyond September 2012, the apparel sector in Swaziland and other African countries will expand its operations and more jobs expected to be created.

Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Trade Jabulile Mashwama said next month, African ministers of trade of the AGOA beneficiary countries would be meet with the United States government for the annual AGOA forum.

She said the forum would be happening at a time when the provision that allowed AGOA beneficiary countries to source fabric from other regions would expire in September 2012. “We are glad that the US government has committed itself to renew this provision beyond September to avert any market disruptions for the exports of our textile and apparel to America. “The success story of this provision cannot be overemphasised as it allows our textile, clothing and apparel sector to expand their operations and employ large women, who are the backbone of our socio-economic development in most African countries,” she said. The minister was speaking during the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 4th Regional Trade Policy Course (RTPC) for English-speaking African countries in partnership with the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) at the Kwaluseni campus yesterday.

She said whilst developments in the regional trade were widely viewed as building blocks towards the wider multilateral trading system, they should not distract African countries from the commitment made to conclude the current Doha Development Round at the WTO.

Mashwama said member states of the WTO would be preoccupied with essential domestic political developments, find the resolve and renewed energy to seriously engage in negotiations in the next few months ahead.

She said for the African continent, the conclusion of the current round of negotiations, with meaningful and pragmatic development content and outcome, provided the optimal option for Africa to fully integrate in the world economy.

Mashwama said Africa’s relationship with Europe was not only confined to trade, it also extended to cooperation in different areas of socio-economic development, which may be adversely affected by the situation there. “It is our appeal, therefore, that the European Union will not abandon Africa, especially when we are beginning to find our feet and have become the continent with relatively best returns in terms of investments. When we met with the other group last year, there was much talk about the establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area, which would encompass the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Countries (EAC) and the South African Development Community (SADC),” she said.

She said negotiations were already underway and progressing well at the technical level.


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