The global T&C sector has been in a constant state of change since the turn of the century, characterized by a continual evolution in the location of both the most significant producing and exporting countries and regions as well as the main end markets. Demand surged in developing countries, production was consolidated in Asia, and new countries emerged as fast-growing exporters of T&C products.
Buyers are looking to shift more activities to their suppliers while at the same time demanding larger volumes and quicker turnaround times ; consumers are pressuring the industry to adhere to corporate social responsibility ( CSR ) standards ; information and communications technology ( ICT ) is becoming critical to modern production and inventory management ; and man-made fibres have become the sector’s preferred material.
Kenya’s T&C sector enjoyed strong growth over the past 10 years, spurred largely by the market access provided under the American Growth and Opportunity Act ( AGOA ). The sector’s advances were supported by a number of internal factors including internationally competitive wages, a supply of skilled workers in garment making, relatively high worker retention, significant water supplies, decreases in electricity costs, recent infrastructure investments, improved port efficiency and relative proximity to Europe. Kenya also benefited from growing concerns about CSR, which caused Western buyers to look for new suppliers outside low-cost Asia.
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