Monday, April 15, 2013

Source Africa Trade Show: Africa is rising

Africa is the world’s next sourcing destination, was the message of the recent Source Africa trade show and seminars in Cape Town.

Among the more than 150 exhibitors were several country and South African industry stands that promoted the manufacturing capabilities of their industries to the more than 1 000 registered visitors, including top international retailers.

Peter Sunderland of Fram/Wayne and Miles O'Brien of Jordan & Co at SAFLEC
Peter Sunderland of Fram/Wayne and Miles O'Brien of Jordan & Co were part of the SAFLEC exhibit

During business seminars organised by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), the benefits and challenges of manufacturing in Africa were discussed, and some solutions offered.

There is growing testament that South Africa is a future destination as a market and there is a growing interest in doing business in this part of the world, said Steve Lamar, executive vice-president of AAFA, whose members account for 75% of the apparel sold in the US. 

Steve Lamar of AAFA, Joshua Setipa of Lesotho National Development Corporation, Mark Cairns of Maersk and Philip Krawitz of Cape Union Mart
Steve Lamar of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), Joshua Setipa of the Lesotho National Development Corporation, Mark Cairns of Maersk and Philip Krawitz of Cape Union Mart during a AAFA business seminar.
The Chinese domestic market is growing so fast — at 7% per annum — that Chinese factories will eventually only have the capacity to manufacture for their own market, predicted Philip Krawitz.

Apparel manufacturers of South Africa (AMSA)
The Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa stand was popular
“According to an IMF report 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa — after Asia, Africa is the fastest growing region. Our time IS coming!” Lionel October, DG of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) told delegates. After years of reporting job losses, the South African apparel industry for the first time reported a growth of 12 000 jobs. 

Dylan and Travis Ludlow
Albertina Bay, Dylan and Travis Ludlow introduced the Albertina Bay softwear for retailers, including the latest footcount technology
Apparel and textile are identified as priority sectors in the recent Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Industrial Policy Action Plan, with several incentives to grow the sector further.

And South African companies have the ability to make the most advanced technical textiles required — including for the sport and outdoor markets, said Tony Wardle, COO of Gelvenor Textiles, whose KwaZulu Natal factory have ISO 14001 certification for ethical and sustainable manufacturing.

Hans Lourens Rudolf Chemicals factory
Hans Lourens (middle, facing) explain the benefits of the finishes supplied by his Rudolf Chemicals factory for technical textiles
Since 2009 African apparel imports into the US has grown 550% to $270-bn in 2011 — creating 300 000 jobs in African factories, said Erica Barks-Ruggles, Consul General of the US in Cape Town. African imports into the US has grown from $2.1-bn to $4.5-bn due to AGOA, and major retailers like Gap, Levis and Walmart are already importing textiles from Africa, she said.

The speakers did, however, acknowledge that there are many challenges for international manufacturers sourcing from Africa — for example, the long distances to the European and American markets, the time to market, in many instances outdated equipment and lack of training of workers to use the latest equipment, and the problem of getting foreign currency out of some countries. That is why trade agreements like AGOA with the US are still vitally important for African countries.

Adrian Rouhy and Vinesh Valjee of Solar Sportswear
Adrian Touhy and Vinesh Valjee of Solar Sportswear manufacturer.
While several factors that hinder fast turnaround times can only be changed by government legislation, there are many things that are in manufacturers’ power to control, said Philip Krawitz, Cape Union Mart executive chairman.

International brands can also be assured that African manufacturers are under international scrutiny to ensure ethical and sustainable workplace practices, representatives from several international agencies explained. Partner Africa promotes good work practices across Africa, Better Work is active in factories in Lesotho, while Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production does unannounced inspections to ensure compliance.

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At April 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

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Technical Textiles Manufacturers


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