Articles

Dan Magder

Abstract
Exporting through international supply chains was a successful way for East Asian countries to develop their textile and apparel industries in the 1970s and 1980s, but it is a less clear route for countries like Egypt trying to compete today. The challenge is particularly acute given the strength of competitors like China, and even more so in the post-MFA era. Some analysts suggest that “lean retailing” increases the importance of geography in exporting in the world of rapidly changing apparel fashion, in a way that could benefit a country like Egypt with its proximity to European end markets. Using a supply chain model, this paper suggests that shortening lead times can indeed have an impact on profits, but that the effect is not tremendous, being in the range of a 0.3 percent to 0.9 percent increase in profits for every week of improvement in lead times. The study also finds that the business environment in Egypt lags key comparator countries in several areas that help the firms compete in global apparel chains, although recent reforms by the Egyptian government are working to address several of these aspects. It concludes by exploring to what extent geography, trade preferences, and local production factors may help Egypt’s textile and apparel industry carve out a role for itself in global supply chains, and provide an engine to drive industrial upgrading throughout the country.

 

Paolo Crestanello and Giuseppe Tattara

Abstract
The aim of our paper is to analyse the governance of value chains operating in the traditional sectors of clothing and footwear, focusing particularly on production delocalization from the Italian region of Veneto to the nearby country of Rumania After describing and ‘quantifying’ the internationalization process between Veneto and Rumania we turn to discuss the possible consequences of this process, both for the region of origin and the recipient area. We highlight, through the concepts of linkages and competences how the production internationalization process may determine a progressive weakening of the network of linkages that characterize the home region, and discuss the main obstacles to a successful transfer of know-how and technologies to the host system. From this discussion emerges the vision of some policy measures to amplify possible positive effects and counter negative consequences of the fragmentation of production, both in the home and in the host country.

 

Jill Esbenshade

Abstract
Discussions of globalization often center on the apparel industry, as major brand names outsource production to factories in low-wage sites. Images that hark back to an earlier era—child laborers bent over sewing machines in El Salvador, illegal immigrants held as slaves in Los Angeles sweatshops, garment workers trapped in a Bangladeshi factory fire—have made the clothing industry the visible face of a global “race to the bottom”: as trade barriers fall and capital moves apparently at will, national labor departments fail to enforce their own labor laws, and global sweatshops proliferate.

 

Kankesu Jayanthakumaran

Abstract
Textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) industries in Australia experienced extensive trade reforms in the 1990s, which were expected to promote a competitive TCF activities. This paper examines two hypotheses of one (1) trade reforms have had a positive impact on TCF industries and the other (2) trade reforms have had an adverse impact on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Selected growth performance variables were intensively analysed. The results of the study are consistent with the hypothesis (1) but are inconclusive with the hypothesis (2). It was found that the positive productivity effect of SMEs does not appear to have been translated into export gain. The needs for further research to identify and focus upon the barriers inhibiting the export performance of SMEs is suggested.

 
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