just-style authors and correspondents

Jozef De Coster

Articles by Jozef De Coster

Despite rising exports, Cambodia's garment industry is trying to juggle higher wages, falling profits and the need for more productivity Cambodia garment sector faces ongoing challenges 12 September 2016

At first glance, Cambodia's garment sector is doing fine. ANZ Bank recently predicted 7.2% GDP growth in 2016, mainly fuelled by rising clothing exports. And just-released data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) points to a 14.7% jump in the country's clothing shipments to US$1.605bn during the first quarter of this year. But dig deeper, and it seems the overall situation of the Cambodian garment industry is less optimistic.


Brands and retailers face enormous pressure to offer more sustainable products, faster and cheaperRetailers struggle to shift from cheap and fast to sustainable 8 June 2016

The Foreign Trade Association's inaugural Sustainability Conference has highlighted the need for cooperation and dialogue throughout the supply chain to achieve tangible results and long-lasting improvements in human rights, environment and trade policy. And, as Jozef De Coster reports, it also heard how European retailers are struggling to transition from cheap and fast to sustainable.


Egypt's ready-made garment exports have fallen from US$1.55bn in 2012 to US$1.35bn in 2015Egypt apparel sector underperforming but ambitious 30 March 2016

With advantages that include the best cotton in the world, thousands of textile and garment factories, low labour costs and duty-free access to key markets in the US, European Union (EU), the Middle-East and Africa, Egypt should have formidable potential. But at the same time it's facing a mountain of problems, including low labour productivity, lack of investments in ginning, spinning and weaving, difficult access to finance, and poor infrastructure.


Hungary offers a mix of strengths and weaknesses 26 November 2015

As a textile and clothing producer, Hungary offers a mix of the traditional and high-tech, ranging from fabric makers supplying the automotive and other advanced industries, to medium-sized CMT-manufacturers (often owned by, or working for, German and other foreign apparel groups) and a number of small fashion brands.


Swedfund is helping to develop a responsible textile industry in EthiopiaAll eyes on Ethiopia as an emerging sourcing hub 28 October 2015

There has been a big buzz around Ethiopia as a potential source of apparel for at least the last five years – yet disappointingly small exports of just US$112m in 2014. But that could finally be set to change, as Jozef De Coster reports from last week’s 'Origin Africa' event in Addis Ababa.


Several international groups are expanding their production capabilities in EthiopiaEthiopia textile and apparel investments accelerate 28 October 2015

From fast-growing textile hub Mekele to expansion plans by several international groups to expand their production capabilities in Ethiopia, the scale of current and planned investments in the country appears to be accelerating. Jozef De Coster reports from last week’s 'Origin Africa' event in Addis Ababa.


Khine Khine Nwe discusses production process management with a group of supervisors at MGMA's training institute. (Photo credit: The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association)Factory funding gap has mixed impact in Myanmar 21 July 2015

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.


Ayka Addis is one of the biggest textile and garment investors in EthiopiaBig gap between Ethiopia export goals and reality 5 December 2014

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.


Euratex is keen to prevent textiles and clothing from being used as an Euratex discusses textile trade priorities and concerns 11 June 2014

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 hoping for accelerated beneficial trade access to the EU and US Philippine garment industry pins hopes on trade progress 17 December 2013

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.


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