Blog: Leonie BarrieAnd the winner is...?

Leonie Barrie | 23 December 2004

The agreement signed yesterday between the EU and Serbia, allowing the quota-free export of Serbian textiles to the European Union market from next year, is due to be formally signed in February. As well as the obvious benefits for exporters, there is also talk that it will provide a new opportunity for significant foreign investment into Serbia’s textile sector as the bulk of Western Europe’s textile industry shifts its focus towards the centre and west of the continent.

Serbia and Montenegro's textile and clothing exports to the EU in 2003 amounted to €137 million. EU exports to Serbia amounted to €207 million. Of the €137 million in exports from Serbia and Montenegro, €128 million was clothing and made-up goods and €9 million were textiles. However, to put this into perspective, total EU imports of textiles and clothing in 2003 came to €70.2 billion and its exports to €41.7 billion. The EU's main textile and clothing trading partners are China, Turkey and India.

As much as it’s good news for textile and clothing exporters, there’s also a huge degree of optimism because the EU tends to conclude such deals only with countries that are seen as being on the road to accession.


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