GENEVA — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili of Lesotho, a poor sub-Saharan African nation, said his country needs to diversify away from its heavy dependence on apparel exports.
Mosisili said the end of the global quota regime in 2005 "had adverse effects" on the country's textile and apparel industry, which is also the biggest employer.
"About 30,000 jobs were lost," he said here recently.
The prime minister said the country has managed to revive most of those jobs in the apparel sector thanks to new companies coming to Lesotho, mainly from Asia, to invest in the sector.
"I have no doubt we can do a lot more," he said, but also noted that as the country was recovering from the "textile shock" and the loss of the substantial number of jobs, the food and energy crises pose new challenges. "We no doubt need to diversify. We can't put all our eggs in one basket."
Mosisili acknowledged the importance apparel exports have played in helping many countries develop their economies. The prime minister also lauded the support offered by a U.S. preferential trade program aimed at helping poor African nations secure market access for their products.
"The African Growth and Opportunity Act has been a very important factor in our textile industry," he said. "It's been one of those programs that has served us very well."
Mosisili noted Lesotho has been one of the most successful sub-Saharan African countries to export apparel to the U.S. under AGOA. According to World Trade Organization data, in 2006 U.S. imports from AGOA-eligible nations that entered duty free totaled $1.3 billion.
In 2005, U.S. imports of apparel from Lesotho contracted 15 percent to $408 million compared with the year before and in 2006 were valued at $407 million, according to WTO statistics.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)