At the behest of the US Consulate in Durban, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub held consultations with a number of textile and apparel manufacturers in Newcastle and Ladysmith in the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The goal of the consultations was to discuss opportunities and challenges in accessing the US market for exports.
There is great potential for local manufacturers to capitalize on South Africa’s existing free trade agreements with the United States utilizing their industry knowledge, experience, skills, and design capabilities. The Trade Hub’s discussions focused on opportunities for producers of niche and high-value added products to export to the United States. The Trade Hub covered duty free discounts that exist to the United States and how to access them as well as manufacturing trends and potential areas for engagement. Currently, South African apparel exports to the US market do not reflect the diversity and heritage of the domestic industry.
The initiative followed on the one-day April workshop co-hosted in Durban by Trade and Invest KwaZulu Natal (TIKZN), the Southern Africa Trade Hub, and the US Consulate and was designed to highlight regional and international export opportunities for the apparel and footwear industries and to promote the upcoming Source Africa (www.sourceafrica.co.za) trade show to be held in Cape Town from June 9-11.
Photo: Eight companies from Newcastle participated in the briefing, representing Cut, Make, and Trim (CMT) operations as well as jersey and school wear producers