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Zimbabwean textile finding it hard to compete

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-04-17 09:30:00 – Kigali

Zimbabwean local textile industry finding it hard to compete as second hand garments are imported or smuggled in large batches from neighboring countries like Mozambique. Moreover, cheap clothes are available from the international market as they come into the country free duty which is a real issue.

Most of these clothes are available at less than $5 while new products cost more than quadruple the price.

The textile industry has reached the closing stage, with almost 80 percent of local textile companies have already stopped operating over such second hand and cheap goods gushing into the market.

Apart from the second hand clothes, big retail companies have started ordering merchandise from as far as China as locally produced clothes are expensive.

Most companies are struggling to survive and have either closed down, scaled back operations or are under judicial management. The formerly-big companies such as David Whitehead Textiles, Merspin, National Blankets and Modzone and Karina Textiles have stopped production and are now under judicial management.

Bulawayo, once the heart of the country's textile industry with textile manufacturers like Cotton Printers, Coats Zimbabwe, Silkwood Prints, Dreyton Textiles, Andys Suppliers and Trifil have all closed down.

Zimbabwe does have high duty tariffs, surtaxes on importation and also some kind of excise regime to protect the local textile industry. But laws are not always properly enforced leading to corruption which is a big problem. Unless that changes, the local textile industry will continue to find it hard to compete.

The local textile manufacturers are complaining that Government is not doing much to restrain smuggling of these clothes into the country.

With the textile industry failing to continue operating will led to loss of job which will be driving the people of Zimbabwe into poverty.

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