The commendable success of Sanata textiles
Guyana Chronicle
January 25, 2003

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TWENTY-three years after it was commissioned, the Sanata textile mills complex is set to fulfill its objective - to meet the basic fabric demands of the nation and to produce enough materials for export to Caribbean sister territories. In fact, under the excellent management of the Guyana and China Sanata Company Inc., the textile complex has already secured markets for its product in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Cuba, Antigua and Saint Lucia. The management is now aiming to access markets for its materials in the United States and Canada.

When President Bharrat Jagdeo and other senior Government officials toured the mills complex at Ruimveldt Industrial Site a week ago, they were agreeably surprised to learn of the quality and scope of Sanata’s production process. According to Mr Chen Rong, Managing Director of G and C Sanata Company Inc, the complex has produced 200 varieties of printed fabric. The range of products includes curtain, dress, kitchen, army camouflage material printed specifically for the government of neighbouring Suriname, bandanas, various sizes of the Guyana’s national flag - the Golden Arrowhead, bleached materials, uniform materials, nurses caps, and varying colours of a fire-resistant material that is particularly suitable for use by the members of the Fire Service and the Police Force.

The Managing Director explained that because the Company was established relatively recently, it has not yet reached the point of showing a profit margin. The production capacity is targeted at ten million millimetres, and to date the output figure is 1.3 million millimetres. The workforce comprises 100 Guyanese and 13 expatriates. So pleased was President Jagdeo at the end of the tour that he commended the management and staff of the facility. “I am really impressed to see what is happening at the factory. It fits in with much of the things that we are trying to encourage - more value-added type of activities, linkages between industries, expansion and diversification of the economy in other areas,” the President said.

The high fabric output of the G and C Sanata Company Inc. is one wonderful example of what could be achieved when developing countries collaborate on specific projects. A little over two decades ago, the Sanata complex was established with the assistance of the People’s Republic of China. Several Guyanese technicians travelled to China for training in various areas of fabric production and design, and to obtain skills in the operating and maintenance of looms and other equipment. In those early years of Sanata, the focus was on producing materials for school uniforms and for clothing members of the security services. And although the company produced other attractive materials, some sections of the nation showed their distaste for the locally produced cotton by dubbing it “Burnham’s bedding”. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Sanata’s output contracted as the facility faced a serious economic downturn.

Today, however, thanks to the establishment of the Guyana and China Sanata Company Inc., which is a subsidiary of the China Textile Industrial Corporation for Foreign Economic and Technical Cooperation in South America and the Caribbean (CTEXIC), the facility is once again poised for success at home and abroad.

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