On the occassion of the EU-Africa Business Summit, Euratex is re-iterating the ambition of the European textile industry to grow its role on global markets, including the African continent.
The textile ecosystem is considered the 2nd most globalized sector of the European economy; it is built on globalized supply chains and fierce competition with China, the USA, Bangladesh, Turkey and many others. Imports are now peaking at €115 billion (approx. 60% garments and 40% textiles), with a dramatic increase of imported medical textiles (face masks) in 2020. Every year, 22 billion pieces of textile and garment products are brought into the EU single market.
Europe’s answer to this competitive pressure must be to invest even more on quality and innovative products, made in a sustainable manner. The ability and willingness to purchase technical textiles, which offer solutions to durability and improved performance, will increase.
In its vision paper on the future of European textiles and apparel, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, has confirmed its ambition to increase the global market share of the European textile industry. Strengthening relations with nearby Turkey and North African countries is important in this regard, offering opportunities for nearshoring. Relations with the UK and Switzerland need to be optimized; especially Brexit has caused serious damage to bilateral trade flows (-33% export to the UK during Jan-Nov 2021).
European textile and apparel companies (mostly SMEs) need to be accompanied to exploit these market opportunities. At the same time, they need to be protected from unfair competition, e.g. products who do not comply with stringent EU standards and procedures. This requires more effective market surveillance.
»The upcoming European textile strategy must embrace that global dimension; failing to do so would be a missed opportunity. «
Dirk Vantyghem, Director General, Euratex