The pivotal role of regional cooperation for the long-term growth of the European textile and clothing sector
The 7th EURATEX Convention, organized on 24 October in Ontinyent (Valencia, Spain) by the Consejo Intertextil Espanol (CIE), gathered over 200 participants from the textile and apparel sector, as well as prominent figures from regional and national representations. Hosted for the first time in Spain, the event was an opportunity to exchange views and present approaches for regional collaboration, to encourage the development and modernization of the fashion and textile industries. As highlighted by EURATEX President Klaus Huneke in his opening speech, “with over 170,000 textile and clothing companies in the EU, most of which have less than ten employees, it is fundamental to work together at local, regional and European level. This is a unique strength that allows our sector to tackle its three biggest challenges - namely skills, digitalization and sustainability - and benefit from international market opportunities”.
EURATEX has indeed focused its efforts and priorities to successfully achieving these goals. Spanish Member of European Parliament, Inmaculada Rodr?guez-Pi?ero, praised the textile and clothing sector for “setting an example for all other industries”, as she called for even more collaboration initiatives at EU level.
The Convention also included a round table discussion with representatives from textile clusters around Europe. In showcasing the role of clusters in the sector, the testimonials offered a first hand perspective into best practices, particularly the importance of providing high level services and products, maintaining a flexible approach, and focusing on innovation.
With textile and clothing companies all around Europe sharing common challenges and priorities, now more than ever “interregional collaboration is the key to the future”, as stated by CIE President and EURATEX Board Member Candid Penalba.
As the voice of the European textile and clothing industry at the level of the EU institutions, EURATEX aims to create a favourable environment within the European Union for the manufacture of textile and clothing products. The EU textile and clothing industry remains an essential pillar of the local economy across the EU regions, at the same time competing intensively within the international market and striving for a level playing field with the rest of the world. According to the latest EURATEX data, 176,400 EU textile and clothing companies realised in 2017 a turnover of €181 billion and employed 1.7 million workers. In 2017, the extra-EU exports reached €48 billion representing a 26 % share of total turnover.
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