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Monday, January 08, 2018

'Factory of tomorrow’: Egypt aims to replace Far East as cheap clothing king

Middle East Eye



Egyptians earn a monthly average of between $100 and $113 in the garment sector 
(MEE/Paul Cochrane)


CAIRO - After nearly seven years in the economic doldrums, Egypt is keen to bolster its clothing exports, worth some $1.4bn a year, and employ over one million Egyptians.
Egypt - and Africa more generally - is well positioned to become the next destination for sourcing clothing: salaries in the up-and-coming manufacturing hubs of Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya are as low as $60 a month, rising to $100 in Egypt.
What is more, there are no other low-cost destinations left on the planet. Asian manufacturers are at full capacity and South America has also become too expensive to source from.
Garment workers earn on average $100 a month in India, and around $70 in Bangladesh, while the lowest in China is $208. Bangladesh, the second-largest producer, still has a certain stigma from buyers in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,135 people.
That was the message at a major trade conference recently organised by the Egyptian government, export councils and the UN’s International Labour Organisation aimed at promoting Africa as a "new frontier" for garment and textile manufacturing.



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