Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mboweni critical of Chinese import restrictions

By Nadia Samie
26 September 2006

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has spoken harshly against the restrictions on clothing and textile imports from China. Mboweni told Business Report that the decision is ill-advised, counter-productive and will fail to assist the local industry to become competitive.

Mboweni told the portfolio committee on finance that the textile industry had since 1994 to become competitive, and if the industry had failed to do so until now, then it didn’t stand a "dog’s chance in hell of becoming competitive" in the next three years.

He told MPs that cheap imports helped to bring down the inflation rate, and that putting a ban on imports was inviting retaliation.

Mboweni said that the South African government could not stop buying goods from China without expecting China to stop buying from South Africa.

Trade unions have welcomed the import restrictions, saying that it will lead to more employment opportunities locally.

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