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Textile giants eye $12bn Gulf fashion market

Dubai, April 1, 2008

The giants of the global textile and clothing manufacturers are battling it out for a greater share of the growing Arabian Gulf fashion market, despite tight margins and a weak dollar, says a leading industry observer.

A total of 25 countries are exhibiting at the ongoing Motexha, the region’s premier trade show for the garment and textile industry, which runs till April 2.

The Arabian Gulf clothing market is driven by still rising consumer spending and continued growth in malls and shopping centres, said Jim Meltz, Show Manager for Motexha at organisers IIR Middle East.

“The world’s fashion and textile giants – both old and new - can’t afford to ignore this growth in a regional market already worth in excess of $12 billion,” he added.

In terms of companies participating at Motexha, China is number one of the top six followed by Turkey, Indonesia, India, Italy and Bangladesh.

"The biggest delegation by far at Motexha is from China, a country whose textile and garment exports in 2007 were worth a massive $171.2 billion, dwarfing its nearest competitors, but saw exports in February drop by 33 per cent from the previous month.

“The rising Chinese currency and increased labour costs are dragging down textile and garment exports but China remains far and away the world’s biggest textile exporter and sees further untapped potential in the Middle East,” said Meltz.

The second biggest delegation at Motexha is Turkey. Currently eighth in the world textiles league and fourth in ready-to-wear industry, Turkey is confident that it will see the industry turn over in excess of $150 billion.

“Turkey's textile exports were up 17 per cent and its ready-made clothing exports were up 16 per cent in 2007 despite an appreciating new Turkish lira and the country is having particular success in the Arabian Gulf markets,” Meltz added. Turkey earned $9.5 billion from textile exports and $13 billion from ready-to-wear exports last year.

Number three, with its biggest ever participation at Motexha, is Indonesia whose textile exports have been constant at around $7 billion to $8 billion annually in recent years. Recently exports have been stimulated by a lower rupiah when compared with other currencies, especially China’s rising yuan.

With the help of the Apparel Export Promotion Council, India is mounting a major push to overcome the impact of the weak US dollar and its appreciating rupee on textile exports, said Meltz.

India is the fourth biggest participant at Motexha as it fights off competition from China and targets $14.5 billion in garment exports by 2010.

Number five at Motexha is Italy which is laying heavy emphasis on the quality image of its Made in Italy trademark.

“Italian fashion is very popular in the Arabian Gulf and the Italian industry is one of the most successful in the world with revenues of more than $80 billion, despite a strong euro and higher labour costs than most of its competitors,” said Meltz.

Number six position at Motexha goes to Bangladesh, a rapidly emerging major player in the international textile and garment market.

“Already garments amount to an astonishing 80 per cent of total exports from Bangladesh and the country’s garment exporters association has set an ambitious target of $18 billion in exports by 2010,” Meltz added.

Throughout, there were prominent displays of fur and leather products, with Perlmutterweg from Argentina and Izzo Leather from Greece, in particular, catching the eye.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | assets | CBB | market | Textile | global | giants | Motexha | mutual funds | swell |

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