20 Apr 2005

Fiji garment manufacturer says outlook for industry not good

3:17 pm on 20 April 2005

A garment manufacturer in Fiji says if the trend toward job losses in the clothing manufacturing sector is not reversed, it will be the end of the industry in Fiji.

Several thousand workers are to lose their jobs when one of the country's largest manufacturers, Ghim Li Apparels, moves offshore.

The move stems from the ending of Fiji's garment quota in the United States, under new WTO rules.

Wana Rajan, who is the managing director of Intimate Apparels, says the sector is also struggling with labour costs higher than those in Asia, and buyers purchasing from China with cheap US dollars.

Mr Rajan says the outlook is not good.

"Garment factory in Fiji is a bit of a question mark. It's a bit difficult to run it for the time being. If this trend goes again like this, it will be on a very losing point, yeah."

Fiji garment manufacturer, Wana Rajan.