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Rwanda: How Rwanda Can Boost the Textile Industry

In 2015, government moved to phase out importation of used clothing and footwear. The aim was to achieve self-reliance and boost local production.

According to Francois Kanimba, the Minister for Trade and Industry, the decision to ban used clothes emanated from the need to promote local production, among others. It was discovered that import of used clothes was stifling local production.

According to experts, the importation of used clothes only meant continuous suffocation of the local textile industry.

As a measure to protect the local textile industry, this year, government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning increased taxes on used clothes from $0.20 to $2.50 per kg.

Equally, import tariffs on used footwear were raised from $0.50 to $5 per Kg a decision that took effect on July 1st 2016.

Claver Gatete, the Finance and Economic Planning minister says the idea is to increase local production by attracting more investors into the country's textile industry.

He says government is taking yet another bold step to waive taxes on raw materials used in textile production.

Minister Gatete was speaking during a consultative meeting with textile manufactures and used clothing importers, last week on the new steps government is taking to promote local production.

According to Gatete, Cabinet has decided to remove import duties on fabrics and accessories to boost the textile sector and export promotion.

"We are currently working with the Ministry of Trade and Industry together with Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) to make sure by end of October everything is in place to start the waivers," Gatete said.

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