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Apparel sector important for Colombian govt: Minister
25
Jul '13
Mr. Sergio Diaz-Granados
Mr. Sergio Diaz-Granados
The growth of apparel industry is important for Colombian Government, especially within the national production policy, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Trade, Sergio Diaz-Granados, has said.
 
Speaking at a forum on ‘Fashion Industry’, the Minister said the apparel industry is important as it represents around 9 percent of the total manufacturing industry output and contributes between 1.8 percent and 3 percent to the national GDP.
 
The Minister said the garment sector is also important as it consists of several micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
 
He said the promotion of the domestic market, diversification of export markets, and greater use of benefits offered by various trade agreements are the three pillars on which his Ministry and related bodies focus to increase production and thereby generate more income and jobs.
 
The Colombian apparel sector is growing, but it is very fragmented with firms developing different strengths, and hence, companies should join forces with those who know how to make things better to generate more added value, the Minister said.
 
By end of 2013, Colombia will have a strong customs policing to combat illegal trade and help the growth of the domestic market, he informed.
 
Talking about export markets, the Minister said Colombia has trade agreements with four developed countries, which gives preferential access to 1,500 million consumers, and urged the apparel manufactures and exporters to make the most of the agreements.
 
He particularly mentioned the exports of textiles and apparel to the US, which recorded a growth of 26 percent and 9.5 percent respectively, in the first 12 months since the implementation of the Colombia-US FTA in May 2012.
 
In Colombia, there are about 450 textile manufacturers, and 10,000 garment makers, mostly MSMEs, with half of them operating between 20 and 60 sewing machines.
 
The textile and apparel industry employs about 130,000 people directly and 750,000 indirectly, accounting for about 21 percent of the total labour force employed in the manufacturing industry in Colombia, according to a study by National Business Association of Colombia (ANDI).
 

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