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Kazakhstan working towards uplifting its garment industry

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-11-05 16:00:00 – Kazakhstan

The Kyrgyz textile and garment industry was originally developed in the 1930’ as a result of the availability of raw material mainly cotton and wool, in South Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan’s garment industry has traditionally been of major importance to the country, with nearly 7% of the nation’s working-age population employed in the sector. It continues to do well by providing economic growth and jobs.

Currently this Kyrgyz industry cannot compete with the Asian competitors due to shortage of raw material. The only advantages are cheap energy and relatively low labour costs. However, this is not enough. Textile products, yarns and fabrics, from China and Bangladesh are cheaper and of better quality.

In October, the clothing industry in the southern part of the country marked several important events which includes the Day of Light Industry, in addition, over 30 clothing, textiles and carpet-manufacturing firms took part in an October 23-27 trade fair that attracted potential buyers as well as investors.

The primary goal of the Osh-2014 Light Industry trade fair was to increase the (south’s) manufacturing capacity, to exchange experience and showcase the accomplishments of Kyrgyzstan’s textile and garment industries, stated Chairwoman of the Southern Regional Council of the Textile and Light Industry Labour Union, Roza Sultanova.

Products labeled 'made in Kyrgyzstan' are winning over new markets with their quality and affordability, and demand for them is growing annually, said President Almazbek Atambayev.

According to Saparbek Asanov, president of the Legprom (Light Industry) Association has been helping southern firms make better clothing by offering various forms of training. As a result, the investment climate in the south is improving.

The trade association's work helps promote business and find foreign investors and new customers, said Mavlyuda Jumabayeva, manager of the Akbarov Haji Couture clothing-manufacturing firm.

Authorities in the south are doing their part to help, offering tax breaks and other incentives. More than 40 garment firms employing more than 600 people are situated in Osh.

During the first nine months of 2014, local businesses manufactured products worth 39m KGS (about US $700,000) which they delivered not only to the domestic market but also to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

The figure represents substantial growth compared to the same period last year, when 32 garment firms produced 30m KGS (about US $550,000) worth of goods.

The organisation has been providing support to Kyrgyzstan's clothing makers for five years now. They also provide technical support in matters

ranging from manufacturing to finding fabrics and accessories. They also give advice on design and marketing.

Exhibits and fairs, like the one in Osh, are also organized as it helps manufacturers find customers and build contacts with foreign partners and investors.

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