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Exports of textile & clothing sector continue to fall
17
Sep '08
In the first four months of this year, exports from the textile, clothing and leather industry are reported to have plummeted. Now, the three put together account for just 17 percent of the total basket of exports from the Romanian industry as against a 35 percent share held in 2005.

On an average, exports in the industrial sector on the whole grew by almost 14 percent in 2008. However, a shrink in the volume of exports of textile, clothing, and leather industry essentially mirrors the overall decline in the activity of the light industry.

Numerous reasons have been cited for this gradual drop in exports. Rise in wages and energy costs and import of products from other markets more competitive than Romanian goods have been highlighted as some of the major causes behind this slump.

Nonetheless, in terms of absolute value, the Romanian clothing industry stood first with exports fetching 700 million euros from a total of 8 billion euros. In terms of imports made, clothing sector stood third in the list.

The clothing industry gets credit of having a positive trade balance of 523 million euros and also stands first for the same among all export products. However, while the overall growth rate of industrial production grew by 7 percent this year, growth in the clothing sector grew by a mere 2 percent but footwear industry remained steady compared to 2007.

Presently, as many as 56,000 people are working in the textile industry while the clothing sector engages 202,000 people and footwear employs 71,000. On an annual basis, the number of employees shrank by 16 percent over the previous year.

Strikingly, wages in the industry grew on an average by some 26 percent. A rise of 23 percent was witnessed in the clothing sector while footwear and leather experienced an increase of 27 percent each. Labor productivity also increased by 11 percent on the whole with 19 percent in clothing and 20 percent in footwear-leather sector.

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