Rwanda has signed partnership deal with a Chinese garment firm, Pink Mango C&D, to set up a modern garment factory in Kigali, expected to employ thousands of Rwandans in the long run, Rwanda Development Board announced on Friday.
Pink Mango C&D will establish a factory in the Kigali Special Economic zone that will produce garments for both the domestic and export markets.
According to the statement, Pink Mango C&D is expected to provide 7,500 jobs to Rwandans by the fifth year and cumulative export earnings of US$20 million over the next five years.
“Furthermore, Pink Mango C&D is expected to build capacity and skills transfer to 500 workers of local garment cooperatives who will also benefit from some of their supply contracts through an outsourcing model,” reads the statement in part.
Rwanda Development Board’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Hategeka stated that the company’s investment will not only boosts the skills of Rwandans and give them access to productive jobs, but also enable the country to increase exports.
“We have been using fiscal measures to progressively discourage the importation of second-hand clothes because it was hurting the growth of the domestic textile and garment industry. Therefore, we are attaining a double objective by signing this deal,” he noted.
“Pink Mango C&D establishment will support the construction of a garment industry ecosystem attracting other players in dyeing, knitting and weaving as well as accessories suppliers to open up shop in Rwanda hence it is indeed an exciting addition to this growing industry,” he added.
The firm’s decision was attracted by Rwanda’s conducive business environment, and Gordon Gu, the Director of Pink Mango C&D Garments, particularly highlighted that their entry into the market was thanks to the country’s investor facilitation.
“We are glad this business makes economic sense for the country and we will ensure that Rwandans work in good conditions,” he noted.
Maryse Gallagher, a business partner with Gordon Gu in Pink Mango C&D, also praised the country’s business environment and argued that with the incentives provided, their products will be competitive in the global market.
They did not mention which incentives they are expected to get, but generally the government of Rwanda provides tax incentives, affordable utility services, and land accessibility, among others.
Witt-Gruppe part of the Otto group, a leading specialist chain in fashion and garments retail trade in Europe confirmed that it will source products from the new factory.
“One of the main concerns of our group is the conditions in which the products are manufactured, which includes the treatment of workers. I am very impressed with the way Pink Mango C&D treat their workers and how they are going to operate here.”Jacques Bathiat, the Witt-Gruppe Commercial and Operations Director, said.
This firm is arguably the second largest Chinese investor in Rwanda’s manufacturing sector.
C&H Garments was the first player to invest in the country’s manufacturing. It entered the market in 2014 and currently produces police and military uniforms, immigration department and schools.
The firm also employs more than 1,000 people, arguably one of the largest private sector employers in the country.