Paraguay's garment industry has eliminated 26,000 jobs in the last six years as a result of the long economic recession, industry spokesmen said.

The daily Ultima Hora, citing the Garment Manufacturers Association (AIC), reported that in 1995 the industry employed some 40,000 workers. Now, the industry employs just 14,000, primarily in small- and mid-sized companies, AIC executive Jose Luis Daporta said.

The country's 1995-1998 financial crisis, the lingering recession and an increase in imported - as well as smuggled - apparel have all contributed to the industry's problems, Daporta said.