The company has succeeded from a China manufacturing base but would like to have a Gulf production site provided support from local export departments is forthcoming
UAE-based Abughazaleh Trading Company (Abco), which manufactures garments and accessories in China and has them imported into the UAE and other markets, plans a significant ramp up in production volumes next year in anticipation of opening up the US market to its products.
The company’s CEO, Midhat M Abughazaleh, said US exports would begin next year in preparation for which the company has decided to increase production by 50 per cent.
Abughazaleh said the US is a late entrant within its marketing network as the company was busy concentrating on other territories in previous years.
Some 9 million pieces of garments and accessories are produced in Chinese factories that are fully owned by the UAE company under an international branch licence, says Abughazaleh. Seven million of the pieces comprise garments including the labels Sombra, Trio, Virona, Shangrila, Apando, Xteens and Lorenzi. Some garments are marketed to European brands under their own labels through confidentiality arrangements, the chief executive stated.
Abco exports to Europe, East Africa, South Africa, the GCC and wider Middle East and the former Soviet states. UAE sales have shot up 35 per cent between 2010 and 2013 and now comprise 30 per cent of the items emerging from the China plants, according to Abughazaleh.
“The garments are designed by our designing team and are our own creations. We have basically contracting contracts for large scale production and we do them based on customers’ own requirements. Our quality inspection teams ensure the highest standards of quality during production and before delivery and timely shipment to customers,” said Abughazaleh. Abco’s total sales in
2013 were $35 million.
ENTIRE OUTPUT EXPORTED
“We have a range of products and 30 per cent of the output such as ladies and men’s apparel is distributed in the UAE while children’s apparel and uniforms account for a good percentage of our turnover in export markets.” The official said the entire volume from the Chinese factories is exported and shipped to 34 countries. The company’s product range comprises all kinds of common apparel plus uniforms, towels, bedsheets, handbags and footwear.
He said the company chose China as its manufacturing base because of the low labour costs and low cost of production overall. About manufacturing in the UAE or anywhere in the Gulf at some time in the future, Abughazaleh replied: “If we received support from government export departments we would be interested in exploring the feasibility of manufacturing options there.”
Abco was established in 1975 by Abughazaleh’s father, Marwan, who is chairman of the company. The current chief executive began working for the company after graduating in 1984 from the American University in Beirut and was later joined by his brothers Hasan and Nabil who are now board
Abughazaleh says a motivation for the business was that “it is dynamic and contentiously open for creativity.” “Our main aim is to provide quality garments to people at affordable prices and we anticipate prospects for the fashion industry to be bright in the years to come.”