A Chinese garment manufacturer is to establish a factory in Rwanda that will produce garments for the domestic and export markets.
The new garment factory in Kigali, which is being set up by Pink Mango C&D, is expected to provide 7,500 jobs after five years and cumulative export earnings of US$20m over the same period.
The Chinese company is also expected to build capacity and skills among some 500 workers in local garment cooperatives who will also benefit from some of their supply contracts through an outsourcing model.
Otto Group’s fashion retail chain, Witt-Gruppe, will source products from the new factory.
“One of the main concerns of our group is the conditions in which the products are manufactured, which includes the treatment of workers,” says Jacques Bathiat, Witt-Gruppe’s commercial and operations director, adding: “I am very impressed with the way Pink Mango C&D treat their workers and how they are going to operate here.”
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB), which signed the agreement with Pink Mango C&D, says the investment will upskill Rwandans and help ensure a better standard of living.
“The investment will not only enable us to increase our exports but also reduce imports of clothing,” adds RDB deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer, Emmanuel Hategeka. “We have been using fiscal measures to progressively discourage the importation of second-hand clothes because it was hurting the growth of the domestic textile and garment industry.
“Pink Mango C&D establishment will support the build-up of a garment industry ecosystem attracting other players in dyeing, knitting and weaving as well as accessories suppliers to open up shop in Rwanda hence it is indeed an exciting addition to this growing industry.”
According to the re:source by just-style strategic sourcing tool, Rwanda is a Least Developed Country (LDC) that benefits from duty free access to the EU under the European Union Everything But Arms Program (EBA).
Separately, another Chinese textile company, Jiangyin BaoRui Textile signed a deal with local firm Apparel Manufacturing Group, for the production of fabrics and readymade garments. The deal is expected to reduce the import of garments from abroad.
A statement from the Private Sector Federation indicates that Chinese textile experts will also provide new technology and capacity building to Rwandans in the textile sector, as per the new deal.