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Govt supports textile & leather exporters
01
Sep '11
Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric said that the Serbian government will find a way to help export-oriented companies in the textile and leather industry.

At a session of the Chamber of Commerce's board for textile and leather-processing industry, Ciric said that one of the steps the government would endorse is that the Army, police and public companies start procuring uniforms from domestic producers, without intermediaries.

The problems of companies in this sector are the lack of liquidity and access to cash to finance modernisation or to expand production, he said.

The Minister supported the proposal that the companies that export more than 50% of production are considered export-oriented companies.

It is necessary to find a model to help export-oriented enterprises find cheaper loans, and for that we should use the capacity of the Development Fund and the Agency for Export Insurance and Financing, said Ciric.

Except for textile production, which marks a drop, the production of clothes, leather clothes and other leather items records a 7–11% hike, Ciric noted, adding that on the other hand, textile export increased by 40% and leather and leather items export by 39%.

However, despite a rise in production and export, companies in this sector are still doing poorly and salaries are among the lowest in the Serbian economy, Ciric observed.

Average salary in clothing items production is RSD 20,000, while in the production of textile, leather and leather items it is RSD 22,000, he specified.

Ciric noted that the textile and leather industry makes a 2.5% of Serbia's overall industry and employs 2.2% of all employed persons in Serbia.

SMEs are 98% of companies in this sector and their production share is 78%, he added, noting that this sector is vital and can deal with its current problems, such as unfair competition from the Far East, broken off privatisation proceedings, a lack of turnover funds and technologically obsolete equipment.

In the first half of 2011, the textile industry exported $300 million worth of goods, which is 29.1% up against the same period in 2010. The export-to-import ratio stood at 68.8%.

The leather and footwear industry produced goods worth $148 million in this period, which is 44.8% more than last year, and the export-to-import ration was 80.3%.

Over 70% of textile products and footwear is exported to the EU.

Government of the Republic of Serbia

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