Increasing export competitiveness facilitates business and investment opportunities.
The Trade and Investment Hub works in Apparel and Textiles; Accessories; and, Specialty Foods. We help raise awareness of opportunities in these sectors through The Africa Advantage, a collaboration with the East and West Africa Trade and Investment Hubs, and Africa Fine Foods.
In close cooperation with Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub organized a buyer visit to Maseru, Lesotho from June 1-2, 2015. Production facilities were visited and various production managers were met to discuss and review the local supply chain, costing, quality assurance, social compliance, customer base, types of products available, and terms of payment. Initial discussions with manufacturers were fruitful and there is growing interest in trial orders.
The Southern Africa Trade Hub sponsored Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) seminars in Botswana and Lesotho this week to help ensure that textile and apparel companies in both countries are prepared to meet the social compliance requirements crucial to US buyers and sourcing executives. The two-day seminars on the topic were addressed by the President of WRAP and included factory site visits
Leading apparel manufacturers and retail buyers, government officials, business associations, and diplomats gathered at the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana on April 29 for a reception on the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the upcoming pan-African apparel trade show, Source Africa, to be held in Cape Town June 9-11.
On April 16, the Trade Hub visited two footwear manufacturing companies in Durban, South Africa that have been invited to attend Source Africa 2015, the major textiles, apparel, and footwear trade show event occurring June 9-11 in Cape Town. The visit was escorted by the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council and offered the opportunity to assess the factories and their capacities. Neither factory is currently exporting under AGOA, but both are interested in the export market and hope to pursue business leads at Source Africa.
The Trade Hub supported seven apparel companies from Botswana and Lesotho to participate in MAGIC, the largest fashion trade show in the world, in Las Vegas from February 17-19. The companies met major buyers, large retailers, and importers for the US market such as Target, Ralph Lauren, the Perry Ellis Group, Teamwork, Happy Chef, and Sanmar.
In Lesotho, a women-owned company, Luqy Manufacturing, has just confirmed an order to supply 50,000 pieces per month of synthetic knit shirts and shorts for a year into the US market, and it is negotiating a much bigger deal with the same client.