“These are not Forever 21 contractors,” said Choi, referring to the category of mass produced fashion that’s made abroad and can fall apart after few washes. Across the country in New York, designer Juliana Cho also has been making American-made garments. She relies on a small group of local expert knitting ladies in their 80s to fashion hand-knit sweaters, part of her collections. “Hand knitting is a dying trade,” she said. Cho opened her first Annelore outpost in the West Village in 2002. A small women’s apparel label, all her garments are made in New York City. She opened a second Tribeca location in 2012. While it hasn’t been easy, Cho said she turns a profit despite manufacturing domestically. Tops retail for roughly $350 and $365 for skirts and pants. “People are always floored I do this,” Cho said. “If we can do it anyone can do it.” She made the comments during an AmericanExpress session on smaller merchants earlier this month.

USA and Sub-Saharan Africa will see increased trade growth, says DHL

The express company has seen a similar picture appearing between the US and various African trade lanes, with larger, more developed economies like South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana and Angola boasting strong double digit growth on both inbound and outbound volumes. However, according to their shipment figures, it is the smaller, rising economies that are seeing a major boom, with Somalia, Mayotte, Guinea-Bissau and South Sudan seeing meteoric increases in imports from the U.S., and Comoros, Eritrea, South Sudan and Liberia enjoying significant demand for exports to the States. The USA and Africa have historically enjoyed favourable trade conditions based on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of 2000, says Ian Clough, CEO for DHL Express USA. We are confident that, when this legislation is reviewed , there will be further benefits for both U.S. and African businesses looking to build cross-border business opportunities. According to statistics released at the AGOA Forum in Addis Ababa last month, U.S. total trade with sub-Saharan Africa (exports plus imports) has grown more than 250 percent , to $72.3 billion in 2012 from $28.2 billion in 2001, the first full year of AGOA trade. There is no doubt that there is commitment to trade growth from the respective governments, and these figures will continue to rise, concludes Brewer. It is now the role of the private sector and the thousands of SMEs looking for opportunities to take advantage of this growth, and build success on this lucrative trade lane. Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL. Media Contact: Lee Nelson. Senior Manager Marketing & Communications, Sub-Saharan Africa DHL Express lee.nelson@dhl.com DHL The Logistics company for the world DHL ( http://www.dhl.com ) is the global market leader in the logistics industry and The Logistics company for the world. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 285,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements.