Coinciding with the recent Moda Barcelona trade fair, the Spanish Textile and Dressmaking Information Centre released its latest statistics showing just how vigorous has been the growth of the Spanish industry over the last decade. Their figures put the number of companies now engaged in textile and clothing manufacture at 7,650 of which more than half ― 4,525 to be precise ― are concerned with garment production. A further 2,298 are either spinners or producers of woven textiles, while 815 are in the knitwear business. This effectively means that Spain is now contributing around ten per cent of the total European garment and textile output. It has not been achieved without expense however. The Centre reckons that over the last decade more than 5,000 million Euros have been invested in improving both efficiency and quality standards. This has proved to be money well spent, particularly on the export front. During the ten years ended on January l, not only did the volume of Spanish export sales increase by 410 per cent but their value went up even more steeply ― by 610 per cent. At the moment Spain sells chiefly to its EU neighbours ― 66 per cent of all export business is done within the community. Increasingly, too, Spanish manufacturers are seeking to handle their own export sales rather than rely on agents. "During the period under review more than 700 manufacturers set up their own overseas sales bases, with a number of the larger vertically integrated enterprises now looking to set up overseas retail outlets wholly concerned with marketing own-label garments," says the Textile and Dressmaking Centre.