Published on Jobs and Development

Moving up the garment industry’s global value chain

This page in:

Paul Lister is Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary of Associated British Foods.

Among the key goals for many African countries is to move up the global value chain like China and (more recently) Bangladesh (see Bangladesh’s “Inclusive” Central Bank). We asked Paul Lister – Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary, Associated British Foods (ABF) – how Primark (an ABF subsidiary that sources apparel out of Bangladesh, among other countries) determines where it will source goods.

Textiles in Bongooo Bazaar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo: Flickr @ dnevill (Dan Nevill)

He says that in the end, efficiency is key, and on that score, he highlights vertical integration – in garments, for example, not only producing the tee-shirt but also the cloth that goes with it. He notes that several African countries, like Uganda and Tanzania, have an inherent advantage because they are major cotton suppliers. But he stresses that they also need good infrastructure (like roads close to ports and a plentiful supply of electricity), along with outside expertise to help them work in a coherent manner to produce a garment on time and to the right specifications.


Paul Lister

Associated British Foods (ABF)

Jobs Group

Jobs Cross-Cutting Group

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000