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Textile industry in doldrums looks at Govt for support
Mar '09
As much as the recessionary trends are affecting the fundamentals of most of the sectors, the textile and garment sector in Syria is also going through the most tumultuous phase it has ever seen in its history, what with sales plummeting to new levels each month.

The government on its part is not helping the floundering sector by way of measures and policies to overcome the impact of the turmoil. Allepo, the textile industry base in the country has seen companies closing down with amazing regularity.

Experts from the industry deride the high costs involved in running textile enterprises and say that with such high costs; it is difficult to compete with countries like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh in the extremely competitive global markets.

Syria exports most of its mid-and-high-quality textile products, including yarn, clothing, upholstery fabrics, rugs and carpets, to neighbouring Middle East countries, Eastern and Central Europe and countries of the former Soviet Union.

According to experts, by the end of last year, 41 of the 300 textile plants in Aleppo shut their doors, leaving countless former workers with no unemployment compensation and few new prospects, mainly due to not receiving help from the government.

Though there are no official statistics available for the job losses in the textile industry, though experts say thousands of jobs have been lost in the last few months as exports had fallen by more than half, leading to en-masse closures of textile companies.

Last month, the industry ministry issued a decree that raised tariffs on cotton and various threads; imposed a minimum price on imported clothing; and established a board to develop and promote exports as part of its initiative, but experts say this is not enough.

But again a few other experts from the industry say the facts have been blown out of proportion and the number of closures is not as high as the number that is being circulated and say that there is still hope if the sector concentrates on quality, rather than quantity.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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