Fiji’s textile industry on cusp of boom, says council

31/05/2012

Fiji’s Textile Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Council President Kalpesh Solanki says there is a boom looming on the horizon for the textile and clothing industry, with export earnings now reaching F$100 million.<!--more-->

But with the shifting sands of new global trends, Fiji’s garment industry continues to face many challenges but it is confident about expanding its export market base.

Over recent years, the industry has rapidly become a critical part of the economic structure of Fiji, exporting garments to Australia, the United States, Europe and New Zealand.

“The TCF council not only recognises the need to look at what its council members want (which include workers) but also how it can contribute positively to the greater economy of Fiji,” he said in a media statement. To achieve this, Mr Solanki said continuous efforts to upskill the 4300 strong work force of whom 70 per cent are women at around 40 factories.

In 2010 the Fijian Government gave a $300,000 marketing grant for the next three years from 2010 to help the garment industry position itself internationally.

This has helped the council embark on programmes such as harnessing Fijian creativity in the clothing, textile and footwear industry, encouraging young fashion designers.

“The council is also at the forefront of initiating talks between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Fiji National University to focus on offering fashion design courses in conjunction with overseas established fashion school,” Mr Solanki said.

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