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Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, 2009/12/09 - Western retailers, brands sourcing garments, and textile manufacturers supplying garment makers, need to assume non-Chinese countries’ share of apparel exports will fall between now and 2012. A new Clothesource report calculates those most at risk.
China's share of world garment and textile exports hit new records during the last months of 2009. Its continuing growth looks close to unstoppable, says the new Clothesource report "The World of Apparel Sourcing: 2010-2012". Western retailers, brands sourcing garments, and textile manufacturers supplying garment makers, need to work on the assumption most other countries’ share of exports will fall between now and 2012.
Many of China’s competitors think Chinese success is the result of dubious practices. Such things may be part of the reason, said Clothesource CEO Mike Flanagan, “but China’s brought about a lot of legitimate advantages through its own hard work”, He cited:
- Years of heavy investment by Chinese businesses in high-quality facilities, and recent improvements in delivery times and minimum orders;
- Years of government investment in roads, railways and efficient port facilities;
- The recent mass offering of credit facilities by Chinese banks, on Government instructions, to smaller exporters, to keep them going while their peers elsewhere were collapsing;
- The abolition of EU and US quotas on Chinese garment imports, which till 2008 were more held back by Western restrictions than imports from anywhere else.
And other factors are helping China, too:
- Online shopping eroded European and Central American producer competitiveness;
- The limited impact of widely claimed growing interest in “ethical” sourcing;
- Garment industries’ viability is threatened in many developing countries by likely duty-free access loss and by China’s growing competitiveness;
- The low likelihood of rich countries introducing any new protectionist barriers.
The result, Clothesource argues, is that the widely-held theory that China is becoming a less competitive place to buy clothes from is just a myth.
“Prudent apparel buyers will always have an alternative source to China, and there’s strong competition in many other countries”, said Flanagan. “But China’s going to provide the bulk of most buyers’ clothing purchases for a good few years still”.
"The World of Apparel Sourcing: 2010-2012" then looks in detail at likely garment sales year by year from over 60 countries for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
"The World of Apparel Sourcing: 2010-2012" is available from Clothesource at £400.And from now till Jan 6, there’s a year’s free subscription to THE SOURCE, the Clothesource monthly review of international apparel sourcing trends, with every copy bought.