Invited by the Tunisian-German Chamber of Commerce to present “Koelnmesse” German textile fair the to be held in Cologne from 21 to 24 April 2009, Elgar Straub Chairman of the German Association for textile and leather technology industry said that textile industry in the world, and Tunisia is doing well, at least for the moment, as being proved by consumer behaviour during Christmas period in European Union countries. This optimism has nothing to do with concerns raised by the outbreak of the international financial crisis, turning to economic recession worldwide , particularly in European countries, which represent the main textile market for Tunisian export.
The “beneficial» decline of the Chinese market
The German expert pointed out that Tunisia has a textile well-structured fabric and a pretty good shoe industry, very well developed, which, according to him, is a sign of optimism about the future of this activity This optimism is not stemming only from consumer frenzy in European countries, but especially from ” Chinese ogre ” behaviour with the lockout of more than one thousand companies operating in the textile business due to the international crisis, but also to dramatic changes taking place in the society “. Chinese bottom-of-the-line clothing and leather industry tries to relocate production by moving into hinterland or abroad.
In North Africa, in addition to Morocco and Tunisia, Egypt becomes a more sustainable production site serving as an alternative to that of Asia. Morocco and Tunisia are positioned on the mid-range niche while Egypt is more and more involved in bottom end production. For the German expert, Tunisia will increasingly take advantage of its geographical location, very close to Europe, which should enable it to better position itself to face these competitors. The European Union, will enact in the coming months a law taking into account the production process, its location and environment. According to E. Straub, a pair of shoes sold in Germany but produced 1000 km from the place of sale, will have fewer chances to be easily appreciated by consumers, who will increasingly pay attention to the origin of the product. The market is due to encourage more flexibility and productivity of each production site, and Tunisian textile sector ” should gear up move to a higher level.”
German machinery and technology exports to Tunisia rose to 10 million Euros since 2006, Italy is still leading with over 15 million. Tunisian clothing exports exceeded, in 2007, 2.5 billion dollars. Currently, 30 to 40% of equipment manufactured across the world, are destined to technical textiles. So a new niche is made available to operators Tunisian textile sector which can also follow the model of automotive components, which can begin to produce its own equipment industry for the local market as well for export.