Annual Forum Papers

Globalisation and the post MFA Environment: The Competitive Dynamics and Policy Responsiveness of the Clothing Industry in Madagascar

  • Year: 2005
  • Author(s): Mike Morris and Leanne Sedowski
  • Countries and Regions: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa)

The last few years have witnessed two major shifts in global trading and industrialisation patterns. The first is the rise of China (with the South East Asian region in tow) as the dominant force reshaping the relations between developing and developed countries as well as the competitive dynamics within the developing world. One can no longer speak of a developing world as if it was not highly differentiated and contradictory. The second, of major significance only in respect of Africa, is most exemplified in the rapid rise of a clothing industry sector in selected countries (amongst which Madagascar has been prominent) in Sub-Saharan Africa, primarily through the impact of the African Growth and Opportunities Act. Whilst perhaps of insignificance on a global scale, the possibilities it has opened up for wage employment and rising income for significant numbers of workers on the continent is not to be dismissed. However, the end of the Multi-Fibre Agreement and the massive impact of China on the global dispersion of clothing production, threatens to substantially disrupt these processes. It is to this end that we undertook a study of the dynamics operative in the Madagascar clothing industry.