“A prolonged recession in the US portends a very grim outlook for the EPZ firms, but we are waiting to see what other windows open as the world continue to react to low orders from the leading textile market,” said EPZA’s head of public relations, Jonathan Chifalu.Athi River-based Rising Sun, MRC EPZ, Global Apparels and Ruaraka-based Apex are the latest firms to close shop as low orders for apparels and garments from the US force them into unviable capacity levels.The Kenya Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), however, says it has stepped up campaigns to convince the firms operating under it to diversify their destination for exports beyond the United States as the recession persists in the world’s only super power.”We embarked on a drive to encourage apparel manufacturers to turn to other markets long before the US economy started faltering. The interim Economic Partnership Agreements secured late last year also opened a big AGOA-like window within European Market that our local manufacturers should take advantage of,” Chifalu said. He admitted that changing local manufacturers’ attitudes towards the EU market has not been smooth sailing. Besides, strenuous Rule of Origin. Mr Chifalu said local manufacturers who fret at the prospect of slim orders from EU market compared to the US market remain a highly sceptical lot. Source: www.allAfrica.com