In 2008, the textile sector in Tunisia achieved a 5180.1 MDT turnover (-0.2% compared to 2007) and a coverage rate of over 150%, representing 25.5 % of exports and putting Tunisia in the 5th place among the suppliers of the European Union, the 2nd supplier in swimwear, 3rd in jean trousers and work clothes and 4th in woven pants.
But all is not as rosy in the relationship with European countries as evidenced by the UK case. In 2005, for example, the share of textile & clothing exports in the total Tunisian exports to the UK posted over 53%. Three years later, it was more than 15.5%. Tunisia market share in England which amounted to 4.3% in 2005 is only 2.9%.now. During this year, the Tunisian lingerie exports to the UK fell by 40.6%, jean pants fell by 26.4% and pull-over 65%. This year again, the number of British companies operating in Tunisia (62) declined over the last two years: 2007 and 2006.
As for tourism, a fund should be created for the purpose of promoting Tunisian textiles abroad. As for tourism, professionals should be involved. As for tourism, too, this promotion task should be carried out by the professionals who are required to launch a study through a Tunisian design office on the best way of communication. CEPEX held a textile introductory half-day targeting Tunisian exporters who were not however many to take part in the event as if they are not interested in this particular market.
Galeries Lafayette and Carrefour involved.
Meanwhile, it is agreed that crisis provide opportunities. For Tunisia, a few hours flight from Europe and whose people speaks French and English, the proximity and responsiveness to orders for small quantities are increasingly echoed in the main central buying groups in this field.
In a recent issue, the French daily “Le Figaro” reported that “in an unstable economic environment, the proximity is growing as a guarantee of security for the big European textile. brands. As the end of quotas on imports of Chinese textile products caused a clear setback for the Mediterranean countries which are historically the major producers, transportation costs, rising dollar and the general context of crisis, are beginning to favour them.
Galeries Lafayette are expected to relocate in North Africa by opening 13 000 m2 a store in Casablanca, following a seventy years absence. “As they are used to make 95% of their products in Asia, Galeries Lafayette want to rebalance their supply between Asia and the Mediterranean.” We are currently looking into these countries for plants that can come up with fashion products that are sophisticated and high value added, but in short series, said Michel Roulleau Galeries Lafayette Deputy manager. Pushed by Zara or H & M, we return to closer suppliers . We need to be more responsive. “[. ..]
Carrefour confirms this trend.” I can not expect the turnover I am going to make in a year, says Gatignol Jean-Daniel, Carrefour textile department manager. In this context, I will not order my full series in Asia. I will be committed to do it up to 60% and the rest will be done through small series in the Mediterranean. Décathlon or H & M are already doing this very well. “In addition, according to Jean-Daniel Gatignol, China ‘s is also interesting because the wages have increased. Moreover, China itself has relocated its production elsewhere in Asia. “The dollar 25% rise makes this supplier go further” says Jean-Daniel Gatignol . The close area is a key area for our stocks stewardship. “