Domestic textiles to outnumber cheap imports

Tanzania is making efforts to protect its domestic textile market by introducing them in local markets, instead of cheap imports from other countries. More and more manufacturers were moving sales to the regional markets of the East, Central and Southern Africa than local markets. Instead of dealing with second-hand clothes, traders can start buying and selling locally manufactured garments to earn better profits.

The trade of second-hand clothes popularly known as (mitumba) trade has become the mainstay of millions of informal traders. It has in fact created employment down to the village level, although essentially not contributing to the nations' economic development.

As used-clothes trade flourished, the profits of the domestic textile industries declined and many of them have closed shop. Their products could not compete with second-hand imported clothes in terms of both quality or price.

An official with A to Z textiles, Mr Fadhili Mbise, said that local manufacturers were capable of meeting local and international market demands. He said that the manufacturers sell more outside than in the local market and added that if the total production was intended for the internal market, there was enough capacity to meet domestic demands.

The prices of locally made garments were affordable for all classes of people and sometimes cheaper than prices of imported second-hand clothes. Taxing more second-hand clothes can be one of the measures taken to reduce imports and foster locally produced textiles and garments.


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