Current Challenges in the Global Textile Industry

Current Challenges in the Global Textile Industry
Noor Ahmed Raaz
B.Sc. in Apparel Manufacturing
Asst. Merchandiser
Opex Sinha Group, Narayongonj

The global textile industry is undergoing a very challenging period since the beginning of this century. Several structural changes have led to a new business environment that the global textile industry needed to adapt to and still does. In 2001 China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and thus a country with approx. 1.3 billion people was suddenly having easier access to markets around the world and was thus becoming an important player in the global trade arena. In 2004 the traditional quota system for textiles and clothing finally phased out. This provided new opportunities to countries that were so far restricted by the quota system and posed challenges to those countries that had benefited from the quota system.
Global Textile Industry
Of course the global financial and economic crisis in 2008/2009 (also referred to as the Great Recession), the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s, had a negative effect on the global economy in general and the global textile industry in particular.

Challenges in the textile industry

One very important factor is how innovative the textile industry is, together with the research community serving it, and how innovative it is going to be in future. Historically, strong and innovative materials, chemicals and machinery/component manufacturers have made vital contributions towards helping the textile and clothing industry in their efforts to be sustainable.

The growth of the technical textiles sector in recent decades has been remarkable. Innovation, mainly originating in the industrialized world, has benefited all stages of the supply chain in textiles, especially advanced and technical textiles.

In order to make better use of the ideas generated in the research community of textile research institutes and universities, the innovation-driven research and development work in these institutions needs to be strongly prioritized. The transfer of knowledge to the industry should be made much more effective than it is today; introducing the right environment in academic research establishments would facilitate interaction with textile and clothing companies. In order to attract top-class scientists and technologists, academic and industrial partners in the value chain of the textile and clothing industry must encourage and reward innovative experimentation, from ideas to applications. Because the textile industry is becoming more and more interdisciplinary in the nature of materials and production processes, the current undergraduate and postgraduate textile education systems must be redefined and redesigned in order to better suit the future needs of scientists, engineers and technicians, both in the industrial and academic spheres.

It is important to look at the current structure of the global textile industry, especially as the result of the ongoing process of globalization. Various types of textile supply chains and customer interactions with the industry are significantly affecting company strategies as regards design, product development, manufacturing and marketing of textiles and textile products.

Trends in textile markets have major implications for textile products and processes. Because of ever-increasing environmental awareness and the possible impact of environmental regulations on the whole textile supply chain, the industry will face many challenges in the future.

At the World Textile Summit, held for the fi rst time in connection with ITMA 2011 trade-fair in Barcelona, the agenda was designed to offer a global perspective on the opportunities and challenges likely to face the textile industry in the years ahead. The importance of cooperation across the supply chain to drive sustainability and innovation, sustainable programmes incorporating reduction of energy and water consumption, the growing influence of technical textiles, China’s increasing challenges and the growing opportunities for India were some of the key points of discussions at this Summit. The contents of the present book were designed and planned a long time prior to the World Textile Summit and the issues discussed in this book include many of those which were discussed at the World Textile Summit in September 2011.

For clear concept we highlight some statistics:

Table: Textile and Apparel Exports by Country
Source: WTO International Trade Statistics (Hong Kong is included with China)
Textile Exports of Asian Countries (US$Million)
Textile and clothing trade in the global market is fast changing with the scaling up of uses of textiles in diverse areas. Asian countries including India play a dominant role in the international trade of the global market. China has the major share in textile and clothing trade in the international market etc. Both Bangladesh and Hong Kong have a significant share. However, India is still on the back seat. It is reported that Asian counties export most of textile and apparel to Europe and North America and USA etc.
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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