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Industry hopes for better days

Zimbabwe’s clothing industry is being weighed down by an influx of cheap imports and shrinking markets.  The industry employs just 7000 people.

A budget proposal to increase duty on cotton fabrics to 30 per cent is seen as a wrong move. The fear is that this would lead to an increase in the cost of production of a garment by about 50 per cent to 60 per cent rendering the local manufacturer as totally uncompetitive.

Textile companies in Zimbabwe don’t have the foreign currency for importing raw materials.

The country is facing a serious shortage of foreign currency. US dollars are being sold in the black market at exorbitant rates.

Textile production has been greatly affected. Units can’t access the foreign currency needed for importing vital raw materials such as yarn, dyes and chemicals.

The apparel sector in Zimbabwe currently operates at less than 30 per cent of its capacity. Zimbabwe is flooded with cheap textile and apparel imports from Asian countries, especially from China. These low-priced textile and apparel imports have had a negative impact on the manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe. Textile and apparel manufacturers want a ban on imports of cheap polyester knitted fabric and finished blankets.