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Crown Fashions closing shop

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One of Malawi’s oldest garments manufacturers Crown Fashions Limited has closed its operations in the country due to prevailing economic challenges.

According to a letter to the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other stakeholders signed by Crown Fashions Limited Chief Executive Officer Vijay Kumar, the company will completely shut its operations this coming Friday.

The CEO has cited severe economic crisis and the huge shortage of foreign exchange, devaluation of the Kwacha, fuel price increases, increase in fees licences, and frequent power interruption on electricity as main reasons for the closure.

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He said the major components of their raw materials are imported and suppliers are demanding advance payment before shipment but they fail to do that because the country does not have enough foreign currency and that power blackouts and the increase in fuel prices have increased production costs.

“This year, government has increased licence fees such as manufacturing license fee, wholesale licence fee, MRA rebate licence fee, occupational safety licence fee, fire licence fee and city rates among others. These hikes also caused increases in production costs,” he said.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry was not immediately available for a comment on the development as both the line minister Mark Katsonga Phiri and its public relations officer Mayeso Msokera had their phones out of reach.

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The Crown Fashions Limited CEO has also advised government to look into the problems which they have presented in the letter for the industry to strive.

“We humbly request the concerned government departments to have comprehensive study about the above situation and help the industry to survive in these conditions. We have made huge investments to set up the industry in Malawi and we need government’s full support to continue the operations,” the letter adds.

According to available information, the company started its operations in the country in 1975.

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