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Makalot to expand overseas production capacity

Taiwanese garment manufacturer Makalot Industrial could set up new manufacturing plants in Africa and in Central America in an attempt to secure more orders from US brands, according to its chairman, Frank Chou.

“This year, we plan to outsource manufacturing to Lesotho through collaboration with some manufacturers there,” he said at a news conference in Taipei. 

He added that the company would consider establishing its own production plants in Africa and plans to send a team there to evaluate if this is possible. 

Makalot believes by expanding its presence in Africa it can secure more orders from US brands. Mr Chou cited the lower labour costs there as well as the fact that some African countries benefit from duty-free access to the US market for apparel products through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as reasons for this expansion.

It could also help to attract more European customers due to the lower transportation costs compared to products made in Southeast Asia, Makalot has said. It currently operates plants in Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The company expects to begin manufacturing products in Guatemala towards the end of 2018 as part of a separate push into Central America. It hopes this will strengthen its position in the supply chain of US apparel brands.

In October, Makalot, which manufactures apparel for Gap, Uniqlo, Target and Kohl’s Corp., was one of two Taiwanese sportswear suppliers reportedly recruited by online retailer Amazon to help in its mission to launch its own apparel brand. The other was Eclat Textile.

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