GOVERNMENT is reviewing the Zimbabwe Cotton to Clothing Strategy (2014-2019) in a bid to curb the influx of second-hand clothing which has choked the local textile industry.
Speaking during the launch of the 13th edition of Edgars Fashion Extravaganza campaign held in Harare, Industry and Commerce minister Sithembiso Nyoni said that government was working on addressing all the challenges being faced by the textile sector.
“Over the years the clothing sector in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole, has been faced by challenges of the influx of second-hand clothing, which has rendered the industry uncompetitive. To address this negative trend, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is currently working on the review of the Zimbabwe Cotton to Clothing Strategy (2014-2019).”
“This industry provides employment opportunities to millions of people worldwide, from designers and artisans to retail workers and logistic experts. Furthermore, the fashion industry has a strong influence on the global supply chain, as it relies heavily on international trade and the sourcing of raw materials,” she said.
As government tightens screws on second-hand clothing trade, Nyoni said local textile industries should be able to meet the demands.
“The African Ministers of Trade have recently adopted rules of origin in the textile and apparel industry that prevent trading in second-hand clothes across the continent under the preferences of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“Therefore, players in the fashion and clothing industry have to ensure that they have the appropriate skills to satisfy the needs of the customers and understand Africa's taste in fashion, in order to fully take advantage of the market access opportunity,” she added.
The Cotton-to-Clothing Export Strategy was launched by Zimbabwe in 2014 to boost domestic production and promote export of textiles and garments.
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The strategy, which aimed to increase cotton production three-fold by 2019, revive the cotton and textile industry and help boost the country’s economic growth, was developed by the Industry and Commerce ministry with support from the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation.
It was funded by the European Union under the EU-Africa Partnership on Cotton, and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.