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Protectionism barriers to hurt more than slowdown
Feb '09
Exports from the Asian major textile and garment producing countries like China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam are expected to fall appreciatively in 2009 for reasons other than the slowdown in demand from the developed countries. There is a growing fear that protectionism measures undertaken by different countries to save their industries could cause more harm in the current year.

Already countries like Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia and Egypt have put in place a series of tariff barriers in a bid to discourage imports of materials which are manufactured domestically. The biggest fear stems from announcement made by the largest importer nation in the world; the US, where the new administration has introduced a 'Buy American' provision in the stimulus plan to restrict imports.

In a period of recession, textiles and apparels is one of the first categories to be shunned by a consumer, and it is this fear that is troubling exporters of textiles and clothing worldwide. No one is willing to bet, as to when the current ongoing recessionary trends will come to an end and markets will stabilize once more as in the pre 2008 days, which is also causing concern among exporters as, if this crisis continues for long, it will be become difficult to survive for long.

Now, the fear of protectionism measures emanating from more and more countries is sending waves of jitters amongst the Asian textile and garment exporting community. It is widely expected that more countries will join this fold in the near future if things do not get back to normal quickly. They have bid adieu to the days of heady growth of the last few years and are only praying that they may be able to survive through these difficult times.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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