just-style authors and correspondents
Jozef De Coster
Articles by Jozef De Coster
Myanmar’s garment export industry as a whole is developing rapidly. But the battle for growth and added value is heavily weighted against the mostly small local manufacturers who face tough competition from an increasing number of foreign investors with deep pockets and strong networks, writes Jozef De Coster.
Ethiopia may have more trump cards to play than any other sub-Sahara African country when it comes to developing a competitive cotton, textile and garment supply chain, but it still has a rough road ahead. Indeed, Ethiopia's growth as a garment exporter will be slower and more difficult than the government and local textile organisations predict.
The impact of global trade policies, particularly free trade agreements, continues to preoccupy the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex). Its just-released annual report points out that pacts with key markets around the world remain a key priority. And a conference last week continued the debate, looking at the benefits of existing FTAs and the potential impact of those in the pipeline.
The Philippine garment industry is optimistic that in the next few years nearly 500,000 new textile and garment jobs can be created if the country obtains beneficial trade access to the European Union and United States.
Laos has set its sights on more than doubling its clothing exports by 2015. But while order books are full and overseas demand on the rise, problems finding and retaining workers could prove to be major stumbling block. Jozef De Coster reports.
Cambodia's reputation as a standard-bearer for apparel x - and yet the country is a rising star when it comes to attracting foreign investment and increasing exports.
Burma's garment industry has huge potential to contribute to national economic growth, both as a foreign exchange earner and a massive job provider. However, in order to achieve its full potential, the sector needs to overcome a range of obstacles, outlined here by Jozef De Coster.
Burma, the poorest country in South East Asia, is seen as having untapped garment production and sourcing opportunities thanks to its low labour costs, large workforce and beneficial access to rich consumer markets. But it also faces considerable challenges if it is to become competitive. Jozef De Coster reports.
The first ever International Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition, which took place in Burma (Myanmar) this week, mirrored the sense of optimism gripping the country's clothing sector.
In contrast to 2009, when Colombia's textile and apparel exports tumbled by 40% due to a political row with its neighbour and main customer Venezuela, as well as falling international demand due to the global economic crisis, the industry is now feeling bullish.
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