Mmegi Online :: Textile industry forecast exports rebound
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 September 2018, 12:14 pm.
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Textile industry forecast exports rebound

Local textile and clothing manufacturers are expecting a change of fortunes in the forthcoming financial year since the country’s economy is showing signs of recovery from the global financial meltdown.
By Isaac Pinielo Tue 25 Nov 2014, 11:34 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Textile industry forecast exports rebound








As one of the largest employers in the country, the textile and clothing industry has been seriously hit by the financial crisis, which led to exports dropping at a high rate and closure of some firms hence loss of jobs.

In an effort to breathe some life into the industry, the government budgeted over P20 million last year, to provide temporary assistance to support 34 textile companies, employing 2,912 workers.

Fazul Zahir, textile and clothing sector chairperson at the Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA), said the industry was in a state of recovery from the downfall it had as a result of the recession starting from 2008.

“There is a lot at stake here as the industry is one of the largest employers in Botswana in any single manufacturing industry,” he said. Zahir further expressed concern that the industry was unable to fully utilise duty free incentives under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  He attributed this to the stringent quality control measures, low prices from the US buyers as a result of which they are unable to strike any major orders.

Zahir said this should be resolved once the National Strategy for the textile and clothing industry of Botswana is fully operational.

“At the moment there are none or only a very few who are exporting under AGOA. All African textile and clothing manufacturing countries are canvassing the seamless extension of AGOA beyond September 2015,” he said.

He indicated that the Botswana Textile and Clothing Association (BTCA) was the driving force behind the implementation of the strategy

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that was developed in 2012 by a national task force comprising  members of several ministries, government departments and the private sector. “Every effort is being made to bring back the industry to the same level prior to the recession,” he stressed.

As the chairperson of BEMA, Zahir said he was responsible for all activities with regard to the development and sustainability of the textile and clothing industry of Botswana prior to the development of a national strategy and the BTCA.  The strategy is expected to develop a viable Small and Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) clothing sector, increase market share for clothing products manufactured in Botswana and establish new and further develop existing distribution channels for the clothing sector. He added that the textile and clothing strategy had set out ambitious targets for the sector. He said it set out initiatives to overcome the limitations and challenges of the sector which were due to the small domestic market, being landlocked, lack of raw materials, lack of skills and low labour productivity, to mention a few.

Zahir explained that the main objective of the textile and clothing sector incentive scheme was to address the sector’s bottlenecks, which make it difficult to be competitive, and penetrate regional and global markets.

He noted that the biggest problem at the moment was for government to find a source of funding for the initiatives to be implemented in order for the national strategy to work effectively. The strategy outlines the establishment of a Textile and Clothing Development Fund Programme (TCDFP).

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