MAS Holdings Singapore, a unit of Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer, has confirmed creation of employment opportunities for round 3,000 people once it begins operations in Athi River, Machakos County, Kenya.
An investment worth Sh1.5 billion will sweep MAS Holdings Singapore to the topmost position as the largest apparel and textile manufacturer in the country, sliding Hela Clothing to second spot. The new unit will be located in EPZ among other companies and will export apparel products to the US, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Official figures show that the number of local employees engaged by EPZ enterprises increased by four per cent to 56,945 last year from 55,486 in 2017.
MAS Holding’s decision will bolster Kenyan economy which is currently grappling with job cuts as companies move to align their operations with a changing economic landscape. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has earmarked textile and apparel as a sector of importance which is expected to drive country’s economy and create jobs in the manufacturing sector. He expects to create over 500,000 cotton jobs and another 100,000 new apparel jobs.
The apparel manufacturing company is expected to increase local value from US $ 978,000 (Sh97 million) in the first year to US $ 9.24 million (Sh924 million) in the third year of operation.
Chairman of the Export Processing Zones (EPZ), Paul Gicheru informed of another company coming into operation, Royal Garments Industries, which will employ 2,600 more employees. “MAS Group will be opened together with two other companies with an average of 600 people, pushing up the number of employees employed in the EPZ by over 5,000,” affirmed Gicheru.
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