A Chinese firm, Pink Mango, will establish a garment factory in Rwanda. The investment will not only enable the central African country to increase its exports but also reduce imports of clothing as the country has been using fiscal measures to progressively discourage the import of secondhand clothes.
The factory to be located in a special economic zone will produce garments for both the domestic and export market. The Chinese firm is expected to provide 7,500 jobs for Rwandans by the fifth year and create cumulative export earnings of 20 million dollars over the next five years. It is also expected to build capacity and skills transfer to 500 workers of local garment cooperatives, who will also benefit from some of supply contracts through an outsourcing model. The investment of the Chinese firm will upskill Rwandans, giving them access to productive jobs and hence ensuring them have a better standard of living.
The United States has suspended duty-free status for Rwandan apparel products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The reason was the African nation’s refusal to lower trade barriers for American-made clothing and shoes. Rwanda was among three East African nations—the others are Tanzania and Uganda--that banned imports of used clothing and shoes from the US.