The exports of apparel from the Central American country of Guatemala reached US$ 1.146 billion during January to September 2013, registering a growth of 7.7 percent over exports of US$ 1.064 billion made during the corresponding period of last year, the Apparel and Textile Industry Association (Vestex) said based on the data from the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat).
In recent years, the apparel and textile industry in Guatemala has become more dynamic and competitive, and its exports have surpassed traditional items like coffee and sugar to become the leading foreign exchange earning sector for the Central American country.
In 2012, Guatemala exported 297.3 million pieces of garments valued at US$ 1.189 million.
The Guatemalan textile and apparel sector includes 129 apparel companies, 39 textile factories and mills, 260 service and accessory companies that together employ 90,000 people directly and indirectly, of which 46 percent are women, according to Vestex.
The apparel and textile manufacturing industry contributes about 4 percent to Guatemala’s national production (GDP) and about 21 percent to the country’s industrial production.
The Guatemalan clothing and textile industry mainly comprises of knitted fabrics and apparel, which account for 77.61 percent of all production, while the woven fabric and garments account for the remaining 22.39 percent of production.