Market Reports

    What kind of quotas and tariffs does the EU have on textile imports? May 2013

    Fair Games? Human rights of workers in Olympic 2012 supplier factories, May 2012

    Female Wages in the Apparel Industry Post-MFA - The Cases of Cambodia and Sri Lanka, May 2012

    Child Labour Guidance - Methods to Prevent Child Labour at Your Workplace, Mar 2012

    From downturn to recovery: Cambodia's garment sector in transition, Feb 2012

    Sewing success? Employment, wages, and poverty following the end of the multi-fibre arrangement, January 2012

    Toying with Workers’ Rights, January 2012

    Impediments to Growth of the Garment and Food Industries in Cambodia: Exploring Potential Benefits of the ASEAN-PRC FTA, September 2011 

    Guide to Vietnamese labor law for the garment industry, June 2011 

    Stakeholders eye long-term solutions March 2011 

    Making the Cut? January 2011

    Women Working in Factories and Maternal Health - Focus on the Nutrition Component December 2010 

    Making Private Standards Work for You, October 2010

    Formaldehyde in Textiles, August 2010

    Tracking Study of Cambodian Garment Sector Workers Affected by the Global Economic Crisis, July 2010

    The Global Apparel Value Chain, Trade and the Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Countries, April 2010

    Understanding the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on the Cambodian Garment Sector, April 2010

    Bringing HOPE to Haiti's Apparel Industry, November 2009

    Albania: Building Competitiveness in Apparel & Footwear Sectors, October 2009

    Transparency Report II: Have Hong Kong garment companies improved their reporting on labour standards? March 2009

    The "International Trade Statistics 2008" Report, November 2008

    Eternal Hope to Reality: Sustained Global Competitiveness for the Indian Textile and Apparel Industry, October 2008

    Globalised Production Exploition in India. September 2008

    Labour rights in the supply chain and CSR in Bangladesh, June 2008

    Unveiling Protectionism, May 2008 

    Clearing the Hurdles, April 2008

    Turkish quota levels for China, February 2008

    Asian Textile and Apparel Trade: Moving Forward with Regional Integration, January 2008

    New Labour Contract Laws to Come Into Force in China, January 2008

    Year 2007 China Quota Utilisation, January 2008

    Change in Treatment of Trademark Royalties, October 2007

    Clothing and Export Diversification: Still a Route to Growth for LICs? September 2007

    CRS Report for the US Congress, July 2007

    IMF Report on Bangladesh, June 2007

    Eighteenth Synthesis Report on Working Conditions in Cambodia’s Garment Sector, April 2007

    CENTAD South Asian Yearbook of Trade and Development, March 2007

    Women and Work in the Cambodian Garment Industry, February 2007

    ADB Asian Development Outlook 2006 Update, September 2006

    UNDP Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, August 2006

    World Trade Report, July 2006

    Flying Colours, Broken Threads: One Year of Evidence from Asia after the Phase-out of Textiles and Clothing Quotas, December 2005

    Promoting Fair Globalization in Textiles and Clothing in a Post-MFA Environment , 24th October 2005

    TNCs and the Removal of Textiles & Clothing Quotas, May 2005 





    This report, based on the survey involving the workers in 10 factories spreading in China, Sri Lanka and The Philippines in the last quarter of 2011, aims to examine whether workers producing sportswear, garments and textiles for the London 2012 Olympics are being treated with respect and dignity, in accordance with their fundamental human rights. The conclusion shows that The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has gone further than any other Games organizer in taking steps to protect workers’ rights, and asks the Rio Organising Committee to make even bigger progress.

    The report is written by the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), and published by the Play Fair Campaign

    For the report, please click here.


    This World Bank paper analyzes the wages and working conditions of women in the apparel sector in Cambodia and Sri Lanka following the phase-out of the Multi-fibre Arrangement. In both countries, apparel is a major source of exports, and women constitute 70 to 80 percent of the workers employed in the industry. The paper finds that after the removal of the Multi-fibre Arrangement, apparel prices declined as a result of the increased competition. As suggested by the theoretical model, in both Cambodia and Sri Lanka, wage premiums in the apparel sector relative to other industries went down post-Multi-fibre Arrangement and the male-female wage gap increased. Besides, mixed results in terms of working conditions also appear.

    For the report, please click here.


    In Cambodia, child labour is a significant social issue presenting a major obstacle to poverty reduction and limiting the country’s social and economic growth, since it does not only affect the individual
    wellbeing of children, but also forces them out of school where they could acquire the knowledge and skills required to drive the development of the country.

    This guidance, produced by Better Factories Cambodia (BFC), has been developed in order to assist the industry to prevent the hiring of child labourers.

    For the detail of the guidance, please click here.


    As the economic situation worsened in Cambodia, the International Labour Organization and its Better Factories Cambodia programme, in consultation with constituents, conducted in- depth studies on the emerging impacts of the economic crisis on the country’s most important formal sector to help inform suitable responses. These studies covered the impact at the worker, factory and macro-economic levels. This report brings together the findings of those individual but coordinated studies, carried out between early 2009 and 2010, to generate a picture and assessment of the state of the garment sector before, during and after the economic crisis. In analysing the impacts, the book also explores scenarios for the industry’s recovery and future growth. Altogether, it provides the most comprehensive assessment of the sector to date, including information and data that can be used for economic and social policies in a range of areas crucial to Cambodia’s future development.

    For the report, please click here.


    This World Bank report aims to assess the effect of the post-Multi-fibre Arrangement (MFA) changes in employment and wages—two key determinants of poverty—so that policy makers can maximize the poverty-reducing potential of the post-MFA economic environment.

    The book covered analysis in nine developing countries. The countries included represent South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Cambodia and Vietnam), Latin America and the Caribbean (Honduras and Mexico), and North Africa (Morocco).

    This book highlights four key findings: The first is that employment and export patterns after the MFA/ATC did not necessarily match predictions. This book shows that only about a third of the variation in cross-country changes in exports is explained by wage differences. While wage differences explain some of the production shifts, domestic policies targeting the apparel sector, ownership type, and functional upgrading of the industry also played an important role. Second, changes in exports are usually, but not always, good indicators of what happens to wages and employment. While rising apparel exports correlated with rising wages and employment in the large Asian countries, rising exports coincided with falling employment in Sri Lanka. Third, this book identifies the specific ways that changes in the global apparel market affected worker earnings, thus helping to explain impacts on poverty. Fourth, in terms of policies, the countries that had larger increases in apparel exports were those that promoted apparel sector upgrading; those that did not promote upgrading had smaller increases or even falling exports.

    For detail, please click here.


    The report, on Producing Merchandise for the London 2012 Olympic Games, exists to influence the London Games organisers and international sportswear brands and licensees to raise the bar on workers’ rights in the run-up to the Games.

    It is written by Labour Behind the Label Research and published by the Play Fair Campaign. Play Fair is a global campaign co-ordinated by international trade union federations and NGOs.

    For detail, please click here.


    This ADB (Asia Development Bank) paper attempts to identify structural constraints to growth and exports within Cambodia’s key industries and to consider the policy actions needed to reduce obstacles to trade. The paper places special emphasis on Cambodia’s exports to China, given the major export opportunities arising from the free trade agreement (FTA) between the ASEAN and China, known as the ASEAN–China FTA (ACFTA). A qualitative case study method was applied at the firm-level by conducting face-to-face interviews to identify the impediments to the growth and exports of key industries in Cambodia, and to examine the opportunities and challenges presented by the ACFTA. This study covers the garment and food industries, which are critical to the economic development of Cambodia in the context of regional and global economic integration. The food industry, with its large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, has great potential for contributing to pro-poor growth in Cambodia, while the textile industry is the largest employer in the Cambodian labor force and is critical for poverty reduction efforts through export-led growth. The study also provides policy recommendations at both the industry and government levels.


    For detail of the paper, please click here.


    Better Work Vietnam, a partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has produced this Guide with the aim of helping employers, employees, international buyers, and other stakeholders better understand the obligations and rights stipulated under Vietnamese labour law. The guide integrates every major source of Vietnam labour law into one easy-to-use booklet.

    This Guide reflects the standards set by national law. However, for the fundamental rights at work (freedom of association and collective bargaining, the elimination of forced labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of employment discrimination), Better Work Vietnam assesses compliance in accordance with international labour standards. Accordingly, Better Work Vietnam’s assessment standards for fundamental rights vary from the Guide in areas where national law differs from international standards.

    For detail of the report, please click here.


    Fluctuating commodity markets and surging prices of raw materials pose challenge

    Although the global fasion industry continues to thrive, the sector's long-term sustainable development faces many challenges, ranging from the rising costs of raw materials and labour, to the diminishing supply chain.

    To discuss these issues, stakeholders from around the world will gather at the annual Prime Source Forum (PSF), an ideal platform to explore concerns that have an impact on the industry, to formulate long-term strategic solutions and to identify opportunities for growth.

    For detail, please click here for the report.


    Low-Income Countries and the Global Clothing Value Chain in a Post-Quota and Post-Crisis World

    The clothing sector has traditionally been a gateway to export diversification and industrial development for low-income countries (LICs) but recent developments may condition this role. In most developed and middle-income countries, the clothing sector was central in the industrialization process. Recently, however, the environment for global clothing trade has changed significantly, driven by the rise of organizational buyers and their global sourcing strategies, the phase-out of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) at the end of 2004, and the global economic crisis in 2008-09. Changes in global supply and demand structures have increased competition between LIC exporters but also offer new opportunities in fast-growing emerging markets. The second half of the twentieth century was characterized by a rising demand for clothing and the replacement of developed countries' domestic production by imports from developing countries. Today, however, demand has stagnated and import penetration levels are close to 100 percent in most developed countries. Thus, the growth of clothing exports from a few developing countries largely comes at the expense of clothing producers in other developing countries. The heightened competition between developing countries has been reinforced by overcapacity in the global clothing industry since the MFA phase-out and has been accelerated by the global economic crisis. However, changes in demand structures post-crisis may lead to new opportunities. While import demand for clothing in the Unites States, the European Union (EU), and Japan might stagnate, demand will increase in fast-growing emerging markets.

    For detail, please click here for the report.


    Study under the UN-Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition in Cambodia Model provinces: Svay Rieng and Kampong Speu

    The Joint Programme for Children, Food Security and Nutrition in Cambodia addresses issues of critical importance for the health of women and children, and is of highest priority for nutrition and food security as recognized by the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as by the UN Country Team and other key stakeholders in the country. The UN-Joint Programme will contribute to the achievement of three Millennium Development Goals: MDG 1 - eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, MDG 4 - reducing child mortality, and MDG 5 - improving maternal health. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) as a partner in the Joint Programme, is addressing issues related to maternal protection/health, children, food security and nutrition through the ILO’s constituents (Government, Trade Unions and Employers), which is an important way to improve maternal health at the workplace for the mutual benefits of workers, employers and the society as a whole. The Joint Programme has selected the two provinces Svay Rieng and Kampong Speu as model provinces.

    For detail, please click here for the report.


    A guide to private standards in the garments, footwear and furniture sectors

    Buyers and producers are faced with many overlapping but non-aligned standards. According to some estimates, more than 1,000 codes of conduct and management systems exist. But most companies in developing countries do not have much tangible information. “Making Private Standards Work for You: A guide to private standards in the garments, footwear and furniture sectors” is expected to provide producers in the footwear, garments and furniture sectors who would like to start or continue a business relationship with a global brand and/or retailer with some clarity in terms of the abundant, but not readily accessible, information available on private standards and with guidance for turning private standards to their advantage. It should also be helpful for exporters in other sectors.

    This publication is the product of a project funded by Norad and implemented by UNIDO, in cooperation with CBI, Netherlands.

    For detail, please click here for the report.


    This is a report made by The Government Accountability Office (GAO) of the USA.

    Formaldehyde—one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world—is used in many products, including disinfectants, pressed-wood, and clothing and other textiles. Exposure to this chemical, which has been linked to adverse health effects for more than 30 years, typically occurs through inhalation and dermal (skin) contact. Formaldehyde can be used to enhance wrinkle resistance in some clothing and textiles, especially those made of cotton.

    GAO analyzed government reviews and the medical literature, as well as studies on levels of formaldehyde in clothing, and had a sample of 180 textiles—primarily clothing—tested for formaldehyde by an accredited laboratory. While illustrative of formaldehyde levels that may be found in clothing, the test results from GAO’s sample cannot be projected to all clothing sold in the United States.

    For detail, please click here for the report.


    The International Labour Organization has conducted a 6-month survey of 2,000 garment workers in Cambodia from late 2009 to mid-2010 to gain insight on how the global financial crisis has impacted garment workers, how workers cope with these hardships, and how unemployed workers seek a new job.

    This report presents the findings from the last tracking survey with highlight on the need to address three key issues: Job-Seeking Services, Compliance with Termination Procedures and Credit for Business Start-up.

    For detail, please click here.


    This paper examines the impact of two crises on the global apparel value chain: the World Trade Organization phase-out of the quota system for textiles and apparel in 2005, which provided access for many poor and small export-oriented economies to the markets of industrialized countries, and the current economic recession that has lowered demand for apparel exports and led to massive unemployment across the industry’s supply chain. An overarching trend has been the process of global consolidation, whereby leading apparel suppliers (countries and firms alike) have strengthened their positions in the industry. On the country side, China has been the big winner, although Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam have also continued to expand their roles in the industry. On the firm side, the quota phase-out and economic recession have accelerated the ongoing shift to more streamlined global supply chains, in which lead firms desire to work with fewer, larger, and more capable suppliers that are strategically located around the world. The paper concludes with recommendations for how developing countries as well as textile and apparel suppliers can adjust to the crisis.

    The World Bank report, written by Mr. Gary Gereffi of Duke University and Stacey Frederick of North Carolina State University), is released in April 2010.

    For detail, please click here.


    The Cambodian garment industry has been hit hard by the current global economic crisis due to its heavy reliance on exports and foreign direct investment. As the industry is suffering loss of 10% of its jobs since the crisis, in April 2010, The International Labour Organization (ILO) released its survey findings based on information collected from 66 factory managers at the end of 2009.

     The report recommends that Cambodia should:

    - To expand and diversify their markets to include Asia to reduce reliance on United States and the European Union
    - To stimulate domestic demand
    - To develop reliable and cost efficient power supply
    - To improve productivity and minimize unofficial fees
    - To upgrade its position in the global value chain

    For detail, please click here.


    In October 2008 the United States Congress enacted legislation that gave the Republic of Haiti expanded, flexible access to the U.S. market for its apparel exports. The Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act of 2008 (HOPE II, updated from the original legislation passed in 2006) was welcomed for its potential to revitalize a decaying industry, attract new foreign investment, expand formal sector employment, and jumpstart growth and opportunity for Haiti‘s people.

    Sponsored by the World Bank and various governments in Europe, this study reviews Haiti’s apparel industry and suggests recommendation for Haiti in shaping a new image for its apparel industry abroad.

    For detail, please click here.


    The apparel and footwear industries have been two of Albania’s main industries with continuing growth in exports in recent years. However, the competition from Asia and decreasing FDI are eroding their competitiveness.

    This World Bank report released in October 2009 diagnoses the industries and suggests actions in electricity supply, skilled labours, tax policy, financial instruments and incentives for FDI.

    For the report (Page 6-29), please press here.

    Oxfam Hong Kong's second Transparency Report released in March 2009 revisits the issue of transparency in Hong Kong garment sector supply chain operations which was raised the first time in 2006.
    The new report researches 26 major Hong Kong-based suppliers and clothing companies, rating them on how open and clear they are in reporting on the wages and conditions of the workers producing their goods.
    The report makes several recommendations that it expects will serve as a road map for better company reporting and labour standards compliance in the supply chain, and help foster collaborative action to eliminate workers’ rights abuses in global supply chains.

    For detail, please click here for the report.


    According to WTO’s latest "International Trade Statistics 2008" report released in November 2008, the clothing market’s share in the world’s total merchandise exports has progressively declined from 3.2% in 2000 to 2.5% in 2007 while the value of the clothing exports has increased by 12%, the same rate as in 2006.’s leading exporter accounting for one third of the global clothing exports, growth is a more modest 7%, trailing behind China’s growth of 21% which has gone down by 8% from 2006. 

    Excluding China, the world’s leading exporter accounting for one third of the global clothing exports, growth is a more modest 7%, trailing behind China’s growth of 21% which has gone down by 8% from 2006.

    Besides, a number of developing countries continue to increase their clothing exports, including Viet Nam (29%rise in 2007), Egypt (23%), Madagascar (18%),  and Cambodia (13%) in the expenses of Republic of Korea (-13%), Chinese Taiwan (-12%), the USA (-9%) and the Philippines (-7%).

    For the report, please click here. Comments on clothing and textiles in the report concentrate in Section II: Merchandise Trade By Product (Page 40-47, and Page 104-116).

    A report by management consulting firm, Third Eyesight, has called upon the Indian textile and apparel industry to urgently develop capabilities to capture the value that is being lost due to inadequate focus on product development and value addition. The report titled Eternal Hope to Reality: Sustained Global Competitiveness for the Indian Textile and Apparel Industry, was released by the Union Minister of Textiles, Shankersinh Vaghela.  

    Please click here for detail.


    "Presented by Alessandra Mezzadri, the scholar of The School of Oriental and African Studies of University of London, focusing on workers employed in Delhi, this paper investigates exploitation of informal sector workers in India’s garment industry. It looks at trends such as the incorporation of the informal economy into trans-national production networks in the Indian garment industry.

    Please click here for detail.


    The Globalisation and Human Rights Desk (FIDH), assigned by Carrefour, has conducted a series of survey since 1997 on ways to improve working conditions at factories. This latest report, released in June 2008, assess labour rights in Bangladesh's export garment industry. It notes that working conditions in export garment factories had substantially improved over the last two years. Compliance with minimum wage payment has increased and deductions from wages as penalties are becoming rare. Factory owners have started to assign human resources, welfare or social compliance officer to whom complaints can be directed. However many issues of concern remain.

    Please click here for the report or go to the ELDIS website for detail.


    The report is published by The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) of the United Nations in May 2008. It is the collection of papers and country reports that resulted from a project entitled “Weaving the Fabric of Regional Cooperation for Competitive Garment Exports: A Post-Quota Trading Environment (Phase 2). Part One includes seven chapters covering complex issues of post-quota trade and production adjustments in the world and the region, including the large exporters such as China and India and the role of trade facilitation. Efforts were made to provide current information on remaining protectionism in textile and clothing trade in both developed and developing markets. Countries covered through reports in Part Two are Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand.

    Please click here for the report or go to the ESCAP website for detail.


    With the Beijing Olympics just months away, The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF) presents the Play Fair Alliance review on the global sportswear industry and points out that the industry, despite of Play Fair's appeal in 2004 for improvement, is still plagued by lack of incentives, competing interests, institutional inertia and other "sweatshop" abuses. The report seeks to identify solutions to these persistent workplace problems, focusing on three central hurdles that, if not overcome, will inhibit the industry's ability to make real progress.

    Please click here for this ITGLWF report.


    Turkey has extended its quota regime on a wide range for textile products from China again, with restrictions on 41 categories.

    Please click here for PriceWaterHouse Coopers’s report on this.


    William E. James of the Asian Development Bank writes that suppliers of apparel from the South and Southeast Asian regions have expanded their market shares in the largest world market for clothing imports, the United States. However, they must redouble their efforts to improve their competitiveness as safeguard limits on shipments of clothing from the People’s Republic of China to the United States will be lifted on 31 December 2008. Regional cooperation to facilitate trade in textile intermediate products and other inputs in clothing production is an important option.

    For the report, please click here.


    With effect from 1 January 2008, China will introduce new labour contract laws, which will make it harder for companies to dismiss people.

    For this PriceWaterHouseCoopers’ report, please click here.


    The PriceWaterHouseCoopers has released its analysis on China’s quota utilization for December, 2007. For detail, please click here.


    The World Customs Organisation Technical Committee on Customs Valuation is expected to formally document two case studies on dutiable treatment of royalties next April 2008. The impact of the documentation would lead to millions of dollars in extra customs duty of certain branded products.

    The PriceWaterHouseCoopers’ analysis reveals the latest development. Please click here for the analysis.


    Can the clothing sector be a driver of export diversification and growth for today’s low-income countries as it was in the past for countries that have graduated into middle income? The World Bank's paper assesses this issue taking into account key changes to the market for clothing.

    To assess the importance of the factors shaping the global clothing market, the authors estimate a gravity model to explain jointly the propensity to export clothing and the magnitude of exports from developing countries to the EU and US markets. This analysis identifies the quality of governance as an important determinant of sourcing decisions and that there appears to be a general bias against sourcing apparel from African countries, which is only partially overcome by trade preferences.

    Please click here for the paper.


    The report, released in July of 2007 by the Congressional Research Service prepared for members and Committees of Congress of the United States, asserted that there is no clear correlation between the decline of US textile industry and the surge in US apparel imports from China; and that after the termination of the ATC quotas, most nations of textile and apparel production were able to maintain the value in exports, while China was able to increase its share of the global and U.S. markets by capturing most of the market growth.

    The report adds pertinent views for the textile debate in the US congress in determining the next move affecting many sectors.

    Please click here for the report.


    According to the report released by the International Monetary Fund in June 2007, after gaining in market share together with other five LIC producers (Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam) in the last several years, Bangladesh will face much greater competition in its two largest garment export markets, USA and Canada, in the near future as the safeguard restrictions on China are due to expire in 2008 and the emergence of Vietnam as its head-to-head competitor in the related markets.

    To maintain its competitiveness, the report suggests Bangladesh to improve in labour conditions, infrastructure, and governance of FDI, as well as to explore new markets at least in large Asian countries such as Japan, China and India.

    Please click here for the report.


    Better Factories Cambodia is a unique programme of the International Labour Organization aiming to improve working conditions in Cambodia’s export garment factories.

    Starting from 2001, the programme has been monitoring the garment factories in Cambodia. The latest report, 18th in the series released on April 30, 2007, summarizes information about working conditions and labour standards in these factories.

    Please click here for the report.


    The report’s chapter on textile and clothing suggests that countries in the South Asian region can form a major textile and apparel hub – provided they can work together. Right now, mutual mistrust and trade barriers against each other, are stopping SAARC countries from cashing in on a waiting opportunity.

    The Centre for Trade and Development (Centad) is an independent, not-for-profit organization in India. The chapter on textile and clothing is complied by two expects from the UNDP, Asia Pacific Regional Center, Sri Lanka.

    Click here for the chapter.

    The report, commissioned by ILO and the World Bank, provides detailed data on critical issues identified concerning women workers: health and nutrition, breastfeeding, childcare, personal safety, and various forms of workplace harassment.

    The findings and recommendations help the stakeholders - Government, Employer’s and Worker’s Organizations, Non Governmental and fellow United Nations Organizations - to be able to better understand, communicate and improve the wellbeing of women workers through development of appropriate policies and pragmatic new approaches at the workplace level.

    Please click here for the report.


    The Asian Development Bank points out in its report, 'Asian Development Outlook 2006 Update' published in September 2006, that the fears of the end of MFA at the end of 2004 were exaggerated as over the last 18 months, while marginal Asian and Pacific developing country suppliers, along with former large quota holders, have seen market shares in the USA and Europe markets evaporate in 2005, a number of competitive Asian suppliers have done relatively well. In fact, they have outperformed non-Asian preferential suppliers in both markets with Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam all competing effectively. Going forward, it is likely that the PRC will lose some of the rapid gains it made in market share in 2005 and preferential non-Asian suppliers will continue to see contraction while other Asian suppliers increase their market shares.

    Click the following link for the report:


    The 2006 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, Trade on Human Terms, launched by UNDP in late August 2006, examines from an Asia-Pacific perspective the changes required in the world’s trading system, as envisioned in the Global Partnership for Development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It draws on the diverse experiences of the region to propose a development strategy that effectively combines trade liberalisation with the promotion of poverty reduction and human development.

    Due to the importance of textiles and clothing sector to the Asia-Pacific economy, the report has a full chapter analyzing the development of the key T&C players in the region since the MFA era concluded at the end of 2004 and suggests a national policy directions including six aspects: decent work, environmental protection, offsetting the effects of quota elimination, international measures to increase market access, anti-dumping and countervailing duties, and promoting South-South cooperation.

    Click the following link for the full report:


    The phase-out of textiles and clothing quotas was expected to accentuate the replacement of domestic production in high-income countries by suppliers from lower-income countries, in particular China. However, the removal of quotas in 2005 produced only a limited impact on textiles and clothing production, employment and price levels in the EU and the United States that year. With the exception of EU clothing output, production declines observed in preceding years continued without any deepening at the aggregate level. The decline of employment in the textiles and clothing industry did not accelerate, and prices of textiles and clothing in the EU and the United States largely remained flat, as in preceding years. The most visible change post-quota was that shipments to the EU and the United States by some major suppliers that had benefited from the ATC quota system were partly displaced by increased supplies from other sources, in particular China, India, Turkey and Bulgaria.

    here for the full report (pdf file)


    The United National Development Programme (UNDP) released a report in December 2005 reflecting on Asia's trade in textiles and clothing with the two major import markets, USA and the EU, for the nine-month period following the phase out of quotas. This report is written by Ratnakar Adhikari and Yumiko Yamamoto under the guidance of Manuel F. Montes as part of the work programme of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Initiative. The report also benefited from additional background inputs provided by the national consultants from three countries: Philippines (Joseph Francia); Nepal (Navin Dahal); and Sri Lanka (Ceylon Chamber of Commerce).

    here for the full report (pdf file).


    A new study prepared by the International Labour Organisation for the tripatite meeting of business, labour and government leaders from key textile and clothing producing and consuming countries in Geneva from 24-26 October 2005 under the aegis of the ILO says that despite widespread concern that the lifting of global textile and clothing quotas in January 2005 would be a labour and trade catastrophe for many developing countries, the results thus far of the phasing out of the MFA have been a mixed bag. The report, Promoting fair globalization in textiles and clothing in a post-MFA environment, presents the most up-to-date global picture of labour issues in the textiles and clothing industry.

    here for the full report (pdf file).


    The expiration of the quota system has important implications for the allocation of export-oriented production and is likely to affect in various ways a large number of developing countries that rely heavily on such exports. Drawing on a wide range of studies as well as on original research, this report shows that transnational corporations (TNCs) are likely to play a critical role in determining the future global production structure in these industries. As TNCs become more important at the production stage, their bargaining power increases vis-à-vis retailers in developed economies.

    With the removal of quotas, sourcing and investment decisions are affected more by economic fundamentals. But low labour costs alone will not be sufficient to attract investment. There is likely to be more consolidation of production into larger factories in a smaller number of locations. China and India are likely to be in a particularly strong position in this new geography of production, but various factors may also work against too much consolidation.

    The removal of quotas generally means intensified competition for FDI in textiles and clothing. To become or stay competitive as host locations, countries will need to develop their ability to move away from simple assembly to “full-package” production and eventually original brand manufacture. Key policy areas in this regard include identification of specialized niches; skills training and technological upgrading; investment in information technology; improvement of infrastructure such as ports and export processing zones; and leveraging of existing tariff preferences in the global trading system. Moreover, investment promotion agencies may identify some of the major transnational producers as key addressees for future marketing activities.

    here for the full report, part of a new series on FDI & Development published by UNCTAD.