An international trade fair on textile and clothing called “Origin Africa” will be held in Madagascar Nov. 3-5, the Executive Director of Madagascar Export Processing Zone Association, Eva Razafimandimby said.
“This is the first time for Madagascar to host this international event,” Razafimandimby said during a press conference held in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo on Monday.
“This fair will be the engine for the revival of Madagascar’s textile which has been doubly affected by the global financial and economic crisis of 2008 and the suspension of the country’s eligibility from the U.S. African Growth Opportunity Acts (AGOA) in January 2010,” Razafimandimby added.
Amid the political crisis in Madagascar in 2009, the United States suspended from 2010 to 2014 Madagascar’s eligibility to AGOA, a program allowing African countries to export their textile products without tax to the United States. Due to the suspension of AGOA, hundreds of thousands jobs were lost, making the country among the poorest countries in the world.
By this fair, Madagascar will target to regain its place in the first rank among African countries in terms of textile export and is planning to export about 100 million US dollars of textile products, Razafimandimby said. The country is currently at the fourth rank after Kenya, Lesotho and Mauritius.
Before the political crisis in 2009, Madagascar exported around 350 million US dollars by year but the export value dropped to 15 million in 2010 amid the suspension of the country from the AGOA.
According to Eva Razafimandimby, hosting of this international fair on textile is important for Madagascar because the development of the country was made in the textile sector since the last 10 years. “The sector recorded 105,000 direct jobs in April 2016 representing 30 percent of jobs in the formal sector in Madagascar,” Razafimandimby said.
The main destinations of textile products made of Madagascar’s processing zones are European Union countries, USA, member countries of Southern African Development Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Australia, Canada and China.