Import of second-hand clothes worth K5m

Business

IMPORT of second-hand clothing is worth more than K5 million annually, an official says.
Richard Yakam, the first Assistant Secretary with the Trade Division of the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry said the figure was increasing annually.
“PNG’s total import of second-hand clothing stands between K5 and K7 million per annum and its increasing,” Yakam said.
“Why are we importing second-hand clothing? Why can’t we produce quality clothes for our people at an affordable price?” He told a garment and textile industry graduation in Port Moresby last Friday that the Government was keen to diversify the economy and cut down on imports of goods which could be produced locally.
They include rice, vegetables, dairy products and clothes.
“When you go into so-called Lot 60s in the country, you will notice the famous meri blouses normally hand-sewed by our women produced overseas and imported here,” he said.
“Why are we allowing this unique design traditionally produced by our people to be massed produced overseas and imported into the country? This has forced our own people who depend on it for income out of the market.
“Because they are mass produced, they are much cheaper than those produced locally. So our people are being forced out of the market. The Government needs to protect the traditional skills and knowledge through patenting the unique designs and skills.”

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