Zimbabwe-Mauritius trade: 3 island firms invest USD 2.4 mn in Zimbabwe textiles
As a textile manufacturing centre of excellence, Mauritius can lend its expertise and experience to Zimbabwe to boost its clothing and textile industry, which, according to Zimtrade, has undergone significant decline in recent years. (Image: Millstone News)
Following the buyers and sellers meeting organised by Enterprise Mauritius in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 10 - 12 November, 2014, three Mauritian companies have concluded business contracts worth USD 2.4 million with local companies in the textile & clothing, and chemicals sector.
In this regard, ZimTrade and Enterprise Mauritius will sign a memorandum of understanding by next year to formalise their relations in their mutual bid to improve intra-Africa trade.
According to Zimtrade, all the initiatives were put in place to revive the struggling clothing and textile industry, which in recent years has undergone significant decline.
“There was a need to restore the clothing and textile industry to its glory days when Zimbabwe exported products in vast amounts to the European Union, SADC and the United States,” said the Chief Executive Officer of ZimTrade, Sithembile Pilime, while officially opening the Mauritius-Zimbabwe buyers/sellers meeting.
“ZimTrade had launched the cotton to clothing strategy, which began running this year and will continue until 2019 with the key objective of working towards the restoration of the textile industry,” she said.
“We need to restore the textile and clothing industry as we know that the sector used to thrive and we used to export large quantities into the EU and the Americas along with other markets,” she added.
She noted that due to the cordial relations between Zimbabwe and Mauritius, there were plans in the early 2000s for Mauritian experts to come to Zimbabwe to help in developing the cottage industry in the clothing sector, as the cottage industries have managed over the years to produce high quality products.
Chairman of Enterprise Mauritius, Amedee Darga stressed that Zimbabwe should revive the clothing industry because it is a formidable creator of jobs and can contribute to national wealth.
“We import our cotton from Zimbabwe and there’s no reason why Zimbabwe cannot fully exploit this resource to help its own people,” he said.
Last year, trade between the two countries generated less than USD 1 million, which converts to below Rs 31.50 million.