The USAID Hub recently supported 19 East African companies to connect with U.S. buyers at the largest biannual U.S. trade show for the global retail fashion industry, Sourcing at MAGIC in Las Vegas, Nevada. The companies reported 85 direct linkages with U.S. buyers at the event for a projected sales value of $32 million.
The companies, drawn from Madagascar, Ethiopia and Kenya, specialize in a range of products that appeal to U.S. buyers, including children’s clothing, leather bags, sandals, boots, raffia bags, hats, tee shirts, denim jeans, shoes, sandals, uniforms and work wear. The African Growth and Opportunity Act provides the eligible East African countries with a competitive advantage by removing duties on nearly 7,000 products. The result is a win-win for U.S. companies looking to source and East African companies looking to expand their exports for economic growth.
One of the U.S. buyer linkages was with the Chief Supply Chain Officer at PVH, one of the world’s largest apparel companies. In addition to his interest in sourcing from Hub-supported companies, he was also keen to discuss collaborating with the Hub on the establishment of a middle management training program in Ethiopia to build workforce capacity. The Hub is currently supporting workforce development programs in Kenya.