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Textile Outlook International
Issue 147:
October 2010

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: End of the Line for Cheap Clothing? (7 pages)
World textile and apparel trade and production trends: the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, October 2010 (25 pages)
Survey of the European Yarn Fairs for Autumn/Winter 2011/12 (13 pages)
Global trends in fibre prices, production and consumption, October 2010 (26 pages)
Prospects for the textile and clothing industry in Sri Lanka, October 2010 (41 pages)
World Markets for Textile Machinery: Part 3 -- Knitted Fabric Manufacture (35 pages)

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Prospects for the textile and clothing industry in Sri Lanka, October 2010

41 pages, published in Issue 147, October 2010  

The textile and clothing industry in Sri Lanka accounts for almost half of the country's exports and nearly a tenth of its gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, it provides direct employment for 300,000 people. However, the clothing sector, which accounts for bulk of the industry, is overdependent on imports for its supplies of textile materials. Also, most producers lack design, marketing and product development skills. As a result, their business is at risk from firms in larger clothing producing countries -- notably China and India -- which are able to source their own inputs quickly and cost effectively.

On the positive side, Sri Lanka has a number of advantages -- including low wage levels, a young and well educated population and a high literacy rate. Also, it has a skilled workforce which is capable of producing quality products. Exporters benefit from good seaport facilities in Colombo, and a new port being built in Hambantota will be conveniently placed for shipping routes from South- East Asia to Europe. Also, the country's internal transport infrastructure will improve when three major road building projects are completed. The industry benefits from strong government support in the form of investment incentives and a number of established and fully serviced industrial zones, estates and parks. There is also the privately-owned "eco-sustainable" MAS Fabric Park spread over 165 acres.

Export growth has been spurred by preferential trade agreements with the USA and the EU, and important relationships have been established with well known brands such as Gap, JC Penney, Macy's, Marks and Spencer (M&S), Next, Tesco, Tommy Hilfiger and Walmart. Until recently, Sri Lankan garments were permitted to enter the EU duty-free under the EU's GSP+ scheme. But in August 2010 GSP+ status was withdrawn because of allegations that Sri Lanka had failed to meet certain conditions concerning human and labour rights. To counter negative perceptions and highlight the country's relatively good labour conditions, a branding campaign has been launched under the slogan "garments without guilt". Also an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study has shown Sri Lanka to be in compliance with internationally agreed labour standards. Perhaps the most positive development, however, is the prospect of relative social and political stability now that the ethnic conflict with the Tamil Tigers has been brought to a close.

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Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries – and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles – providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production – taking into account current issues facing the industry – such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing – providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing – in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
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