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Government, Council Discuss Training In Garment Industry

T alks about formal training in garment manufacturing were addressed by the Attorney General & Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday. With Australia putting the new Developing Country Preferences into
08 Jan 2015 11:45
Government, Council Discuss Training In Garment Industry
From left: Kalpesh Solanki, Ayaiz Sayed-Khaiyum, Faiyaz Koya and Shaheen Ali

T

alks about formal training in garment manufacturing were addressed by the Attorney General & Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday.

With Australia putting the new Developing Country Preferences into place, it means new opportunities for Fiji to tap into.

Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said: “Training is very important in some countries like Sri Lanka people actually get diplomas and degrees in garment manufacturing Fiji does not really have that,

“Also in order for us to position ourselves and increase the image of the garment industry, we need to provide that sort of training which is a very specialised area now.”

These trainings would involve the setting up of courses in technical colleges address the issue.

He added this will greatly build on the once thriving industry, when the Fiji had preferential agreements with United States.

Prior to 2000, about 20,000 people were employed in the garment industry alone. But as preferential access closed in the US, this number decreased significantly.

Today, about 6000 Fijians, majority of whom are women, are still dependent on this industry.

Textile, Clothing & Footwear Council representative, Kalpesh Solanki, said DC Preferences would create more jobs for Fijians.

“The positive change in our market access, with that we will also be looking at helping improve our training and skills within the industry,” Mr Solanki said.

“We will need to address that and we will be working with Government to look at ways to address the training needs and up skill of our work force.”

 

DC Preferences benefits all
sectors

The DC Preference is not limited to garment manufacturers but allows for favourable access to all Fijian products into the Australian market.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, over the past 5 years the Fijian Government has assisted the TCF sector through a marketing grant of $100,000 annually that has enabled the industry players to group together to market Fiji.

The FijiFirst Government will continue to explore ways to support the further development of the TCF Industry.

He emphasised the importance of the Australian market, which accounts for 85 percent of the total Fijian TCF exports.

There is potential for further expansion of exports and investment in the industry, with the new and more favourable market access conditions in 2015.

He further stated that Australia imports approximately AU$2 billion worth of TCF products, Fiji currently exports AU$60million.

This is less than one percent of the total imports, therefore, we need to take advantage of our
strategic location and easy
accessibility to the Australian market.

Feedback: rachael.nath@fijisun.com.fj

 

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