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Cablegate: Support for Continuance of Agoa Third Country Fabric

VZCZCXRO0735
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #2116 2480759
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050759Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6191
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS DAKAR 002116

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/EPS - HASTINGS, AF/W AND EB/TPP/MTA
STATE PLS PASS TO USTR - JEFFREY FERRAH
AID/W FOR AFR/WA AND AFR/SD
USDOC FOR 4510/OA/PMICHELINI/AROBINSON-MORGAN/KBOYD
USDOC FOR 3131/CS/ANESA/OIO/DHARRIS/GLITMAN/MSTAUNTON
ACCRA FOR WATH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD AGOA KTEX EINV ECON PU
SUBJECT: SUPPORT FOR CONTINUANCE OF AGOA THIRD COUNTRY FABRIC
PROVISION

REF: A. STATE 131825

B. STATE 138090

1. Guinea Bissau does not have a commercial textile or apparel
manufacturing industry. Consequently, it has not requested a
textile visa to take advantage of duty-free exports under the
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to the American market.
It does, however, have a dynamic new enterprise that has already
exhibited fabrics in U.S. trade shows and that supports the
continuance of AGOA's third fabric provision, in preparation for the
years to come.

2. There are countless independent small tailors, weavers and
industry associations in Guinea Bissau, but no commercial-level
textile manufacturing industry. Most of the tailors have
pedal-operated sewing machines and produce only for the local
market.

3. Among these small-scale apparel producers, there is a growing
fabric enterprise, located in Quinhamel, just outside of Bissau,
named Artissal and owned by Mariana Ferreira. Ferreira is beginning
international commercialization of her hand-woven fabrics albeit on
a small scale. The company consists of 12 traditional looms with a
production capacity of 2,000 meters of fabric per month, four
pedal-operated sewing machines used to make handbags, two small
retail outlets, and 18 employees, 12 of which are full time.
Ferreira sources her cotton from Sotiba in Senegal (which imports
from Asia) and imports organic dyes from Burkina Faso.

4. Although Ferreira has exhibited fabric samples at trade shows in
the U.S., she does not have the production capacity to export in
large quantities to the U.S. After she fulfills an order from South
Africa in September, she will launch a research center for
traditional dyes and designs. Artissal has qualified for a
fair-trade program sponsored by the European Union and expects to
receive certification within the next year. As Ferreira looks
towards the American market, she supports an extension of AGOA's
third country fabric provision.

Jacobs

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