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World textile and apparel trade and production trends: South Asia and South-East Asia, June 2010
published in Issue 145, June 2010
In South Asia, Bangladesh has held up well against China and India in the post-quota era but has suffered from weaker demand in Western markets because of the global economic downturn. In 2008/09 clothing exports rose by 15.4% after increasing by 16.2% in the previous year but in the first five months of 2009/10 they fell by 6.7%. However, exports will benefit if proposals to grant duty-free treatment to Bangladeshi clothing in the US market come to fruition. India’s textile exports plummeted by 17.5% in 2008/09 and fell by 13.9% in the first half of 2009/10. Clothing sales improved by 13.0% in 2008/09 but growth slowed to only 0.8% in the first half of 2009/10. However, exports could benefit from government measures to boost investment. In Pakistan, textile exports declined by 4.0% in 2008/09 and by 3.5% in July-December 2009 while clothing sales fell by 9.0% and 6.5% respectively. The industry should receive a boost, however, from the government’s first five-year textile policy covering the period from 2009/10 to 2013/14. Clothing exports from Sri Lanka fell by 4.5% in 2009 while exports of made-up textiles plunged by 24.0%. Exports are set to fall even further if the EU sticks to its plans to withdraw duty-free treatment under GSP+ in mid-August 2010 following allegations that the country is not fully complying with international human rights conventions. On the other hand, the clothing industry has been commended for its commitment to labour rights and ethical sourcing under its “Garments Without Guilt” campaign.
In South-East Asia, textile exports from Indonesia plummeted by 32.3% in 2009 while clothing exports fell by 5.9%. Fortunately, domestic demand for clothing surged by 37.2%. The industry complains that it has been adversely impacted by the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement. In response, the government has established a committee to help sectors which may have been affected. In Malaysia textile and clothing exports fell by 14.9% after 2.3% growth in 2008. In the Philippines clothing exports dropped by 22.0% in 2009 and by 4.2% in the first three months of 2010 as buyers switched their orders to China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and other low cost Asian countries. In Thailand exports of textiles fell by 5.7% in 2009 but in January-April 2010 they recovered with a rise of 29.5%. Clothing exports fared less well, having dropped by 15.5% in 2009 and 3.8% in January-April 2010. Foreign direct investment (FDI) was also down in 2009 after growing by 48.5% between 2007 and 2008. Exports from Vietnam fell by 1.3% in 2009 after a strong 17.5% increase in 2008. Faced with falling sales in the EU and the USA, the industry has taken steps to diversify its markets and in 2009 it made significant gains in Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Also, despite the recent fall in foreign demand, the industry has set ambitious export targets for the next decade.
Table of Contents
World Textile and Apparel Trade and Production Trends: South Asia and South-East Asia
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