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14th October 2016, Paris

Revitalising EUROMED cooperation for textiles and clothing

In 2015, exports of clothing and textiles from Mediterranean countries (Turkey, Morocco, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria) totalled EUR 20.2 billion in valueIn 2015, exports of clothing and textiles from Mediterranean countries (Turkey, Morocco, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria) totalled EUR 20.2 billion in value, while exports of clothing and textiles from the European Union to these countries reached EUR 6.9 billion.

However, despite strong ties linking the two shores of the Mediterranean, the relative importance of intra-industry trade between them has declined to the benefit of Asia. Mediterranean suppliers’ share in European imports of clothing has dropped progressively from 25% in 2007 to 17.6% in 2015. Correspondingly, European exports of textiles to the Mediterranean are on the decline in favour of suppliers, such as China.

The development of the Euro-Mediterranean relationship was the topic of one of a series of presentations organised and moderated by Evalliance and its president Jean François Limantour, as part of the Apparel Sourcing trade show, which took place in Paris last month.

Less than positive development

The presentation entitled Revitalising EUROMED cooperation for clothing and textiles provided the analysis into the causes of the less than positive development of the EUROMED cooperation due to competition from Asia, to erosion of preferential trade advantages granted to Mediterranean countries and to the complex political and economic situation in some of these countries.

According to organisers, conference attendees were in agreement that a "joint European and North African sectoral programme" needs to be developed and implemented in order to develop a growth strategy that offers perspectives for the future.

The main proposals agreed upon during the discussion included:

·       review rules on preferential origin

·       boost European investment in the Maghreb

·       set up Euro-Mediterranean consortiums

·       expand dialogue, discussions and Euromed promotions

·       inject fresh energy into collaboration in the domains of technology, R&D and training

Apparel Sourcing

Having grown to one hundred exhibitors, this edition of Apparel Sourcing Paris demonstrated a unique European offer for clothing production and accessories and attracted the interest of customers from around the world, organisers report. Praised by visitors for creating great networking opportunities stimulating decision making and business negotiations, the fair offered a diversity of services, products and skills.

"Visitors noticed the increased presence of certain countries like Hong Kong, China and Vietnam, which drew a lot of attention and were very busy, but also the return of Morocco and Tunisia, which offer short lead times that are also used by a good number of visitors,” commented Michael Scherpe, President of Messe Frankfurt France.

“Product ranges sourced from nearby countries, something that is certain to increase in the future since I have signed a strategic agreement with Karim Tazi, president of AMITH (the Moroccan Association for the Textile and Clothing Industries) to promote the Moroccan textile industry on an international scale. It goes without saying that we will expand our search for new sources of procurement, where each new supplier brings into play their stock of techniques, expertise and original skills as that conforms to buyers’ economic priorities.”

www.apparelsourcing.messefrankfurt.com

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