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David Birnbaum

Articles by David Birnbaum

The middleman is responsible for ensuring facilities carry out the work required by the customer at an acceptable level of performanceCOMMENT: The decline of the buying office 18 December 2014

Twenty years ago major garment importers and retailers began to move away from independent agents to set up wholly-owned buying offices where every middleman performed the same work. Fast forward to 2014, and the range of services has soared in both number and complexity. The challenge, now, is to quantify the level of performance - and commission, writes David Birnbaum.

COMMENT: Innovation is the name of the game 24 October 2014

Innovation is all about change - sometimes planned, often unplanned. But there are lessons to be learned too, and as garment companies move to set up in-house innovation centres they would do well to take heed, writes David Birnbaum.

Government benefits can undermine industry by imposing substantial and unnecessary costsCOMMENT: Government giveaways stifle garment industry growth 12 August 2014

Governments have a vital role to play in supporting the modern industrial economy, but in many garment-exporting countries this positive support is both lacking and counter-productive. Based on his work in the Dominican Republic, David Birnbaum suggests government giveaways make change even more difficult.

The EU is now the worldCOMMENT: The current state of play in world garment exports 31 July 2014

Data from major garment exporting countries to the EU and US shows who's winning and losing so far in 2014. David Birnbaum looks at the trends.

BangladeshCOMMENT: Bangladesh's garment trend lines look pretty poor 6 June 2014

Bangladesh's share of the US apparel market has been in decline since February this year. But a closer look at the figures shows that while it is holding up in basic men's wear, women's wear fashion is on a downward trajectory.

COMMENT: Bangladesh heading for sourcing history? 28 April 2014

Just six months ago the major brand importers and giant transnational factories were rushing to build state-of-the-art operations in Bangladesh, despite the Rana Plaza and Tazreen mishaps. Where are they now? asks David Birnbaum.

ChinaComment: Bangladesh industry development moving backwards 14 April 2014

Despite the many claims to the contrary, it would appear that China's share of the US garment export market has failed to decline - while at the same time, Bangladesh's garment export market share has failed to rise.

MyanmarComment: Sourcing segmentation is at odds with the data 28 March 2014

The latest word is "segmentation": a trend whereby China is losing its position as a low-cost garment exporter and other countries have stepped up to claim their part of the manufacturing pie. The problem, says David Birnbaum, is that the concept is somewhat at odds with the data.

Benchmark study India: Part III - Garment industry and public welfare 3 March 2014

This is the third article in a series describing an ongoing project being carried out in India's apparel export sector. Here, David Birnbaum looks at some more reasons why India's garment-export industry is trapped in an environment of stagnation.

Benchmark study India: Part II – Structural obstacles and systemic barriers 10 February 2014

This is the second article in a series describing an ongoing project being carried out in India's apparel export sector. Here, David Birnbaum looks at the structural obstacles and systemic barriers contributing to the decline of India's garment industry.

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