The fair's main objective was to showcase the Moroccan offer to foreign buyers to both enhance further the current flow of business between existing customers and Moroccan suppliers, and initiate discussions and enquiries between first-time visitors and Moroccan manufacturers.
But not only that. By expanding Maroc Sourcing to foreign raw material exhibitors alongside the Moroccan ones, we hope to see business also happening between garment and raw material exhibitors as well as between Moroccan visitors and Maroc Sourcing exhibitors.
With the spotlight being on knitwear, technical textiles and denim segments, how much will each segment grow?
A strategy was designed jointly by our association, AMITH, and the Moroccan ministry of industry and implemented in 2015 with very ambitious targets by 2020.
Which countries does Morocco export to?
Morocco's main market is the EU. Within the EU, Spain is the country's largest customer, followed by France. Then come Germany and the UK.
Which are the highly exported products in textile and apparel?
Trousers, dresses, blouses, women's jackets & coats, t-shirts, denim jeans, pullovers, parkas-anoraks, workwear, skirts, shirts, bras, men's jackets & blazers, underpants, men's shirts and coats, bathing suits, men's suits, and tracksuits are majorly exported by Moroccan manufacturers.
Two years ago, Morocco increased its textile exports to the European Union by 9 per cent. How is Brexit going to impact the export situation?
It is hard to predict today how the Brexit situation is going to unfold. Still, the Moroccan T&A industry has historical ties with both the UK market and the other EU countries. So, we don't perceive Brexit as a threat to the ongoing positive trend of Moroccan exports to the EU in general, or the UK in particular.
Who are your competitors? How is Morocco different from Asian competitors as a producer for Europe and the US?
We do not consider the Moroccan offer to be in competition with the Asian offer as the Moroccan offer is used by buyers as a supplement to Asia-based supply chains for more fashion-oriented and time-sensitive items. Buyers looking for items with high-fashion component requiring short cycles and flexible capacity will turn to Morocco as manufacturers here can offer shorter lead time and flexibility.
What are the challenges facing the Moroccan textiles and apparel sector?
The main challenge we face today is upgrading our industry to meet the digitalisation and sustainability requirements imposed by the changing international environment. Several projects are being implemented in this regard. Another challenge is linked to the rules of origin imposed by the EU to Morocco that we perceive to be strongly unfair. Moroccan manufacturers pay duty on the full value of their products, including the added value created in Morocco, when they use fabrics from outside the pan-Euro Mediterranean area, when at the same time, preferential treatments are granted to Asian competitors allowing them duty free access to the EU market regardless of the origin of the fabrics they use. This situation seriously impedes the competitiveness of the Moroccan products and puts our industry at a strong disadvantage compared to its Asian competitors.
For 2020, what are the ambitious goals set by Morocco for the expansion of the textile industry?
Penetrate new markets, mostly Northern European and Northern American markets where the Moroccan presence is still quite shy.
Speed up the compliance of our industry to the sustainability standards of our customers.
Reinforce the local upstream offer to enhance the competitiveness, the flexibility and the speed-to-market capabilities of the Moroccan industry (PC)
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