US has market for Zimbabwean textile products but demands quality

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-02-13 17:30:00 – Zimbabwe

United States has a high demand of textile products and the markets also demand high quality products. Zimbabwe can export its textile products if their products meet the United States’ standards. Zimbabwean textile industry needs to explore the prolific United States market as it bids to recover its former lustre, according to a US trade specialist.

Trade between Zimbabwe and the US has declined in recent years, with local exports to America totalling $34 million in 2013 compared to $91 million in 2001. The country imported $60 million worth of goods from the US in the comparative period, up from $31 million.

Zimbabwe imports mainly machinery, pharmaceutical products, vehicles and medical instruments and exports iron and steel, tobacco, coffee, raw hides and skins.

AGOA is the main vehicle for dialogue between the US and sub-Sahara Africa, but its lifespan ends this year.

Notably, Zimbabwe is not eligible under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which offers qualifying sub-Saharan countries even more liberal access to the US market after Washington imposed sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle in 2003 on allegations of human rights abuses.

Last week, US senior commercial specialist Robert Telchin after addressing a business seminar on US-Zimbabwe trade opportunities said that local textile manufacturers could penetrate the US market, but needed to produce good quality products. He urged government to prioritise infrastructure to counter attack economic growth barriers.

The country needs to develop the formal economy – things like infrastructure. Transport and energy infrastructure are the things government need to take lead on and play a big role.

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