Pietermaritzburg T&A MeetingsUSAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub, in conjunction with the US Consulate in Durban, organized a briefing on May 22, 2015 at the American Corner in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on export opportunities to the United States and trends in global apparel production.Over 20 representatives from local apparel and footwear manufacturers, business leaders, and government officials from Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Ladysmith, and other areas of KwaZuluNatal (KZN) attended the event.KZN is the province in South Africa with the largest amount of goods currently being exported to the United States.

The US Consul General in Durban, Frances Chisholm, addressed the audience on measures to promote trade between South Africa and the U.S. while the Trade Hub team briefed the attendees on opportunities and challenges in accessing the US market for textiles, apparel, and footwear.The briefing also identified knowledge-based and niche product areas where South African producers can effectively compete in the US market. Discussions covered existing duty free discounts for exporting to the United States, and there was also great interest expressed by the manufacturers regarding the pending African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) renewal process.

The American Corner apparel and footwear export briefing follows on the heels of the larger event organized by the US Consulate in Durban in conjunction with Trade and Invest KwaZuluNatal (TIKZN) and USAID in mid-April. Both events were met with great demand and provided an opportunity to promote Source Africa, the most important African apparel, textile and footwear trade show on the global calendar, taking place June 9-11 in Cape Town.

Photo: Briefing participants at the American Corner in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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