SUVA: The initiative from the Chinese Government to help Fiji's garment industry has been welcomed by prominent garment manufacturers.
Mark Halabe, the managing director of Mark One Apparel, said on Aug 4, that he was pleased with the help given by the Chinese Government to improve the garment industry.
He said that he had been approached by the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to make a list of things or issues in the garment industry that needed assistance.
"We made the list of all such concerns and it was referred to the Chinese Government when Mr Qarase was in China," he said.
Mr Halabe said the response from the Chinese Government was very positive and they made plans to help Fiji's garment industry.
He said they had to consistently buy new machinery like sewing machines to keep up with the demand from overseas markets and this was expensive.
"We are hoping that some form of rebate could be given to garment companies in Fiji from countries like Australia," he said.
He said Fiji's garment industry had lost a lot of income in terms of export to the United States of America.
"We lost about $120million in income per company as a result of not being able to export garments to the US," he said.
He said the assistance from the Chinese Government would help the industry overcome losses faced because of changes in the US market and lift its standards.
The Chinese Government plans to help Fiji's garment industry become competitive and secure new markets.
They plan to achieve this by bringing in experts who can train people involved in the industry.