AGOA fabric provision nears end
By KALONDE NYATI
GOVERNMENT says the expiry of the Third Country Fabric provision under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) this September is likely to impact negatively on the African textile industry.
Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Stephen Mwansa says the Third Country Fabric provision is essential for the survival of Africa’s textile and apparel industry because it generates a lot of jobs in Africa.
The provision enables least-developed countries (LDCs) to enjoy an additional preference in the form of duty-free access for apparel made from fabric originating anywhere in the world.
Mr Mwansa, who is out-going chairman for AGOA, was addressing experts from AGOA-eligible states ahead of the 12th AGOA forum in Washington DC.
This is contained in a statement issued by first secretary at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC, Patricia Littiya yesterday.
He said the move will result in a decline in textile and apparel exports.
“The effect can not be over-emphasised as evidenced from the already noticeable declines in textile and apparel exports.Importers are now opting to source from elsewhere as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the provision’s lifespan,” he said.
Mr Mwansa also reiterated the need for increased trade and economic relations between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa to improve people’s livelihood.
He said Africa and the US should play a leading role to ensure that the objectives under the AGOA framework are achieved.
The two-day experts’ and senior officials’ meeting will, among other issues discuss the future of AGOA beyond 2015, the impact of infrastructure on trade and optimising Africa transport sector to increase international trade.
Other issues are the importance of women’s economic success and financing power projects in Africa. / Daily Mail