Kenya, will soon be the first country, in sub-Sahara Africa, hosting a fully serviced Textile City to meet the manufacturing investment needs for a number of leading global garment marketing firms.
The Textile City model to be championed by the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, will besides foreign investments attraction, be one of the key pillars earmarked as the national job creation platforms.
Speaking at the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) Complex in Athi River, when he hosted a delegation of 40 international garment manufacturing firms, with a combined annual revenue of more than US$ 25 Billion who are on a country visit, Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed, confirmed that plans for the establishment of a Textile City are now at an advanced stage.
The delegation is led by high ranking executives from PVH and VF Corporation, who are some of the world’s largest apparel manufacturing companies which own and market iconic brands worldwide.
Ranked as a US $11 billion apparel and footwear powerhouse, VF Corporation is a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel and footwear with more than 30 brands under its wings. The company’s five largest brands are The North Face®, Vans®, Wrangler®, Timberland®, and Lee®.
With revenues of more than US$ 8Billion last year, PVH Corp., one of the world’s largest apparel companies, owns and markets the iconic Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands worldwide.
By establishing a Textile City, for onward leasing to potential investors, Kenya, Mohamed assured will be seeking to address existing industrialization bottlenecks at the Athi River EPZA zone as well as other locations.
The ministry, he said, targets to attract at least 100 textile investment firms at the Textile City and create more than 200,000 sustainable textile jobs by December 2016. Such firms, will be expected to take up investment opportunities relating to cotton ginning and yarn spinning, manufacture of textile fabrics and home fabrics, manufacture of apparel and manufacture of garment accessories, and labels among other ventures.
Enterprises in the Textile City, will also be cushioned from annual National Wage Regulation Orders as wages in sector will be regulated by an inclusive Textile and Apparel Sector Wages Council.
The Textile City, Mohamed added, has already been enshrined in the recently formulated National industrialization Roadmap. The Roadmap, he said, aims at facilitating national GDP growth at US$4-6Billion per year for the next 16 years. The Roadmap developed by the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, also seeks to boost Kenya’s manufacturing base from 11% of GDP to 20% of GDP.
“By hosting such important potential investors in the global textile industry, we are effectively confirming a national commitment to facilitate industrial growth through priority sectors as outlined in the National Industrialization Roadmap,” Mohamed explained.
And added: “The government through the EPZA is embarking on a project to develop a textile city here in Athi River to meet the specific needs of such investors.”
Reflecting the government’s commitment to the Industrialization agenda, Mohamed expressed optimism that focus on specific sectors of the economy and bold industrialization measures will allow Kenya to attain its Vision 2030 GDP targets almost nine years ahead of schedule.
The textile sector, Mohamed noted, bears a latent potential for creating massive employment to a large educated labor pool with high productivity and remains a key economic indicator for potential investors to explore.
Already, the country, is providing incentives and benefits under the EPZ program which include; 10-year corporate and withholding tax holidays for zone developers, manufacturing and service enterprises Perpetual Duty, VAT and Stamp Duty Exemptions, Green channel facilitation and aftercare provided for Customs, Immigration, Statutory requirements and Utility connections.
For more information, please contact:
John Mwendwa @ Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development on Mobile 0723 786 449
Alfred Ng’ang’a @Ogilvy PR on Mobile 0722 799 069