Import dependency on textiles & garments very high
Switzerland has a very well developed textile industry, ably aided to a great extent by research and development activities. The markets of Switzerland are highly competitive in both the low-priced and high-priced segments of textiles and fabrics.
But most of the output is earmarked for exports from the country. The bulk of the demand for textiles and clothing is met through imports which are estimated at 97 percent of total consumption.
The lion's share of imports of textiles and clothing is met by the countries compromising the European Union and account for 84 percent of all imports. The main demand came from performance and functional textiles category, although high-end fabrics like home textiles command a sizeable market share.
The Swiss textile and garment industry continued to expand in 2007 and 2008 with greater volume of sales and exports and more jobs for local people, despite growing competition from low-wage countries.
According to the Swiss Textile Federation, by relying on innovation and their ability to detect new trends, Swiss companies engaged in textile and garment business were able to defy the high pressure on prices and margins and competition from low-priced imports.
Imports of textiles and apparels have grown from Swiss Francs (CHF) 4.01 billion in the first six months of 2007 to CHF 4.09 billion in the corresponding period of 2008 to post a marginal growth of 1.94 percent. In comparison, exports from the sector fell from CHF 2.09 to CHF 2.04 billion in the same period.
Separately, imports of textiles rose from CHF 1.26 billion to CHF 1.28 billion and that of garments from CHF 2.74 billion to CHF2.81 billion in the periods under review.
The bulk of imports as mentioned above came from the European Union and accounted for as much as 84 percent of all imports. Imports ascended from CHF 3.36 billion in the period January-June 2007 to CHF 3.46 billion in the same period of 2008, to register a nominal growth of 2.73 percent.
The only country with a substantial share of exports to Switzerland was China with CHF 273.85 million. The US in second place followed with shipments totaling to CHF 42.99 million in the period Jan-June 2008.
It would be very safe to mention that Switzerland, in spite of having a strong textiles base and a lineage going back by more than 700 years, is highly import dependent in its requirements.
Infact value of imports are nearly double than those of exports. Though off course, what the country exports are products of high value and what it imports are items of mass consumption.
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Fibre2fashion News Desk - India