TCF industry hit hard by export decline, seeks new markets

January 5, 2024 6:36 am

[File Photo]

The Textile, Clothing, and Footwear industry which once employed 20,000 people, is facing headwinds with a 25 percent decline in exports and a range of operational hurdles.

Council President Inbamalar Wanarajan says they will now seek assistance from the Fiji Trade Commissions to tap into new markets.

“The continuous increased cost of doing business, including the recently imposed 3% duty on raw materials, causes less productivity due to poor efficiency, absenteeism, a lack of training, labour, and skill shortages.”

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Wanarajan says these concerns were raised during their annual general meeting last month.

She says finding creative solutions to these roadblocks will be essential for the industry.

“Roadshows will be conducted to improve membership; the council will attend the Australian International Sourcing Fair and other trade shows in the Pacific Island countries; and the Fiji Trade Commissions will be engaged in conjunction with Investment Fiji to look for new markets.”

Wanarajan says they need to invest in skills development and training programs to create a pipeline of qualified workers.