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Textile & clothing industry past its prime
Aug '08
Estonia is a country located in northern Europe in the Baltic region. It was a part of the erstwhile Soviet Union till 1991. It is a small country inhabited by just 1.3 million people, but is considered one of the fastest growing economies across the globe

The clothing and textile industry is an important branch of the Estonian economy. It employs approximately 13% of the total industrial workforce and accounts for 7 percent of the revenues realized from the industrial sector. The Estonian textile and clothing industry has had a very difficult time since the beginning of 2000.

Total exports of apparels and textiles during 2007 are worth just €400 million and made up for 5% of Estonian exports. The main products exported in 2007 were clothing, home textiles and knitted garments. The main market of clothing and textile is the European Union.

By countries Finland accounted for 26.2 percent, Sweden 22.7 percent, Latvia 12.8 percent, Russia 8.9 percent, Germany 5.1 percent, Lithuania 4.8 percent, Norway 3.9 percent, UK 2.9 percent, Denmark 2.6 percent, Ukraine 1.5 percent and the Netherlands 1.4 percent.

Exports from the industry touched €426 million in 2004, rose further to €432.53 million in 2005, but slipped to €409.11 million in 2006 and again fell to €400 million in 2007. Number of companies associated with the industry has also seen a downfall. The number has fallen from a high of 405 in 2003 to 343 in 2007.

Investments in the sector have also witnessed a drop. At the height of its growth the industry attracted an investment of €38.2 million in 2002. After this it has fallen in each consecutive year to a low of €12.3 million in 2007. Production value has also seen stagnancy in the last few years. It has dropped to €424 million in 2007 from a high of €436.8 million in 2003.

The number of employees employed in the sector has also gone down along with decrease in investments and production value. The number of employees which stood at 24,507 in 2003 skid to just 16,384 in 2007.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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