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Chairman Bulgarian Association of Apparel and Textile Producers and Exporters
How do you see the impact of economic crises on country’s textile and apparel industry?
In 2007, our industry reached to its absolute peak of development - as sales and value. Then at the end of 2008 the sector was badly affected even by the first signs of the crisis. International consumption lowed, traders reduced their orders.
Many Bulgarian companies were forced to shrink their size, releasing part of the workers. In the year 2009–2010, orders designated to the Bulgarian manufacturers, declined by about 20 – 25 percent.
In last two years 2011 and 2012, the industry is reviving and this revival is easily explained by the awakening and gradually increasing consumption in Europe.
What kind of challenges industry is facing and opine your overview on the purchasing power of people as well as domestic end user demand?
Stagnation and constant lowering of the buying power, as almost everywhere in Europe.Our sector produces not more than five percent of the yearly volumes for the domestic market. Furthermore, buying power of Bulgarian population is low and it is getting even lower. Bulgaria is the poorest country in EU with average salary of EUR 350 and minimum salary of approximately EUR 150.
What are those substantial steps that BAATPE undertake in order to benefit its members?
BAATPE tries to represent the industry and its main advantages are high quality of work, experienced labor force, modern technologic equipment, fast delivery, flexibility for large and small orders, consistent reliability, etc.
We improve the competitiveness of the firms and their staff by organizing seminars, training courses, business missions in the country and abroad, business visits to international fairs and B2B events. Besides, we work in close cooperation with most of the European organizations and participate in many international projects together with branch organizations of countries, members of EU, the Balkans, and from other counties.
In last two years, we have worked a lot as an interlocutor between the foreign customers and the Bulgarian companies; we try to facilitate their contacts and to help international companies to find the right partners in Bulgaria.
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