Sunday, May 13, 2012

The uncertain future of apparel

Depsite great growth and product divsersification, the textile and apparel sector’s growth spurt was just that, a spurt. Within 3-4 years it had leveled off, remaining largely flat since 2005 when the MFA expired (with a substantial dip as a result of the 2009 US recession).

A leveling off of Kenya’s exports at this much higher level would still amount to a substantial AGOA accomplishment. However, it is not certain that exports will level. The three products that dominated Kenya’s pre-AGOA exports – namely woven women’s clothes, knitted jerseys and woven men’s shirts – have all been in decline since their 2004/05 peak (most dramatically so in the case of men’s shirts) and though other products have come on line and grown well, this has not stemmed the sector’s flattening out.