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Zambia: Government to revive textile sector

Zambia: Government to revive textile sector
Miles Sampa, Zambian Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister
Published date:
Tuesday, 03 September 2013

Government has pledged to revive the local textile industry to enable it compete favourably on the United States (US) export market under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The move follows Zambia’s failure to penetrate the duty-free AGOA market which has been attributted to the country’s collapsed garments industry.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Miles Sampa said Government was greatly concerned about the situation which had been caused by the underperforming local textile industry.

Mr Sampa said Government attached great importance to the revival of the local textile industry to enable it compete favourably on the AGOA export market.

“Government is committed to the revival of the local textile industry so that the country can increase its export base using incentives such as those obtaining under the AGOA export market facility,” Mr Sampa said. Government will soon meet all the stakeholders in the local manufacturing sector to look into the country’s failure to effectively utilise the US export market under AGOA even after more than a decade of its existence.

“The country’s performance on the US market under AGOA is of major concern to the Government and we will soon be talking to the manufacturers and exporters to see how best we can increase our exports to this market,” Mr Sampa said.

Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) chairperson Yusuf Dodia said in a separate interview that Zambia’s performance on the US export market was dismal and there is need for collaborative strategy between Government and the private sector to fully utilise it.

Mr Dodia said Micro-Small Medium-Scale Entrepreneurs (MSME’s) needed to be sensitised on how they could play an active role in the revival of the textile sector if Zambia was to penetrate the US through AGOA.
“There is very little information on the AGOA and what we need is a collaborative strategy between Government and the private sector to help us manage the demands of the US market,” he said.

Mr Dodia said Zambia still had an opportunity to develop its textile exports owing to a proposal by member states that the AGOA should be extended for the next 15 years.

A report published recently by the Hub Digest, under US department of Commerce, said Zambia had failed to export a single product to the AGOA market in 2013 due to uncoordinated textile industry.


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