Workshops are being held throughout September and October for Albania’s leading garment and footwear manufacturers in a bid to improve their competitiveness and export sales.

The 12 workshops, organised by US development agency USAID (the US Agency for International Development) are intended to equip senior managers with practical tools and methods to improve productivity and production costs.

The aim is to help firms in the Shkodra region to improve the quality of their products to meet international standards, helping them to compete more effectively in European markets.

“It is a common myth, that in order to improve productivity you have to make your operators work harder,” said Mr Haycock, an industrial engineering expert in apparel manufacturing. “In reality, 80% of the reasons for poor productivity in a company are the responsibility of management.”

Albania’s garment industry accounts for an estimated 27% of the country’s exports and employs more than 40,000 workers. 

In addition to participating in workshops, seven garment firms are receiving further assistance to develop professional web sites and marketing materials. 

USAID’s workshops are being supported by the National Chamber of Façon of Albania and the National Chamber of Garment and Footwear Manufacturers.