Business, Finance & Economics

Palestinian garment made in China

This 65 year old, the last remaining employee of the West Bank's last keffiyeh factory knows the industry is falling in Palestine. He has worked at this factory for the last 40 years. the factory now only runs until midday whereas in the past it ran 24 hours a day and employed 30 people. He says every day is slow and demoralizing. Production is down to 1,500 scarves a month, a number it used to produce every two days. The decline is not due to popularity, however. This factory owner says competition is making sales difficult for his Palestinian company, and factories are popping up in China, and those cheaper Chinese keffiyehs are flooding into the West Bank. The factory owner says his keffiyehs are better quality and are the symbol of Palestinian nationalism and thus should be made in Palestine. But no matter the Chinese scarves sell and in some cases sell for half as much. The political situation on the ground is also hurting the keffiyeh business and the man can no longer sell his product in Israel because of Israeli economic restrictions, but the biggest difficulty for him is still the Chinese imports of keffiyehs. He says the Palestinian government should impose import restrictions, and he thinks the difficulties for him is more economic than political. All over Hebron there are calls for government action.

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