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Chinese apparels capture Bolivian market
Jul '12
The South American land-locked country of Bolivia is facing a new reality. Clothes completely manufactured in China or stitched domestically using Chinese fabrics are turning out to be much cheaper than apparels produced in Bolivia using locally available raw materials.
Despite availability of raw material and skilled craftsmen, the Bolivian nation of 10 million people is coming to terms with the effects of the policy of globalization.
Mechanization is yet to make large inroads in the Bolivian apparel industry, and hence, despite having raw materials, the sectors’ ability to compete is being affected by huge inflow of low-priced garments, mostly from China. 
Besides being highly mechanized, China’s clothing sector has enjoys other advantages like availability of labour at lower wages compared to Bolivia and undervaluation of its currency against the US dollar.
On the other hand, Bolivian manufacturing is on a very smaller scale, and the country has strict labour laws, which often makes it difficult to retrench workers, which raises production costs.
As a result, Bolivia’s textile trade deficit with China is widening. Bolivia imported US$ 8.7 million worth of textiles and garments in 2010, and the figure rose to US$ 17 million in 2011, as per the data with the National Institute of Statistics. 
Last year, China overtook the US to become the largest supplier of goods sold in Bolivia, mainly owing to low price of Chinese goods.
The decline in demand for Bolivian garments is forcing tailors and seamstresses to relocate to the neighbouring Brazil and Peru.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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