Uniqlo to open first African manufacturing plant in Ethiopia

4 Jan 2018

Japanese casualwear retailer, Uniqlo, will open its  first African manufacturing plant in Ethiopia, joining fashion giants such as H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) and Calvin Klein, who are already manufacturing in Ethiopia.

The chain aims to begin test production of T-shirts and other tops in the country as early as 2018, with more products joining the mix if the plant shows that it can handle the volume and meet quality standards.

Announcing the plans, Tadashi Yanai, chairman and CEO of parent Fast Retailing, said they hope to take advantage of the low labour costs and create an export hub for the U.S. and European markets as Ethiopia sits closer to Europe, which Uniqlo considers a key market for growth. Ethiopia is also an ideal location as clothing intended for export to the U.S. would not be taxed.

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