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A New World Map in Textiles and Clothing

Adjusting to Change

A New World Map in Textiles and Clothing by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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The textile and clothing industries accounted for USD 350 billion or 5.6% of total merchandise exports in 2002. They provide employment for tens of millions of people, primarily in developing countries but things are set to change drastically when new trade rules come into force at the end of 2004.

The elimination of quantitative import restrictions as agreed under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Textiles and Clothing will put an end to a complex trade regime built up over decades and will have huge implications for all those involved in the entire supply chain. Countries will no longer be able to protect their own industries by means of quantitative restrictions on imports of textile and clothing products. What will this mean for cotton growers in Burkina Faso or Turkey, fashion retailers in France or the United States, and shirt factories in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic or China? Who stands to lose or to gain? Where will jobs be lost and new markets found, and how can governments help their own textile and clothing industries adjust to this new trade regime?

These are just some of the questions that this publication attempts to answer. A New World Map in Textiles and Clothing identifies the most recent market developments throughout the entire supply chain, from natural fibres to retail distribution. It outlines the policy and regulatory challenges in the fields of trade, labour adjustment, technology and innovation, and suggests a policy framework to help deal effectively with such changes as well as to capitalise on the trade opportunities that are being created through improved market access.

“A highly useful contribution to the debate on policy challenges in textiles and clothing, the book stands out from the others in recognising the influence that trade policy measures continue to exert on investment and production decisions, and in providing a synthesis of key market developments and policy issues.”

Munir Ahmad, Executive Director, International Textiles and Clothing Bureau.

“Policy makers in all textile and clothing trading countries would be wise to heed the sound advice proffered in this comprehensive and thorough, fact-based assessment."

Laura Baughman, President, Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC.

“A must read for anybody interested in the future of textiles and clothing around the world. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the expected adjustment process in usefully underscoring the role of technology and innovation and the growing importance of the business facilitation agenda.”

Carlos A. Primo Braga, Senior Adviser, International Trade Department, The World Bank.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; January 2004
237 pages; ISBN 9789264018556
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Title: A New World Map in Textiles and Clothing
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development