In April 2008 reporters from Textiles
Intelligence completed a seven-day tour
of Colombia's most important textile and
clothing manufacturers in Medell
country's main textile and clothing
producing region, and Bogat
country's capital city.
The reporters found that many of
Colombia's large-scale producers of
textiles and clothing were vertically
integrated companies which had invested
in state-of-the-art machinery.
They also found that the range of
manufacturing activities in the sector
spans the entire supply chain, including
cotton growing, man-made fibre
production, textile processing and the
manufacture of finished apparel. These
activities are supported by a large
supply of inexpensive labour, albeit
relatively unskilled. Indeed, over
600,000 people are employed directly or
indirectly by the textile and clothing
sector in Colombia.
Examples of Colombia's largest textile
and clothing companies include jeans
producers CI El Globo and CI Jeans,
fabric producer Fabricato Tejic
and vertically integrated knitwear
manufacturers Crystal, Manufacturas
Eliot, Modinco and Protela.
All of these firms are heavily involved
in exports and have established
important partnerships with
international brands, including
Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein,
Dockers, Gap, Levi Strauss, Polo Ralph
Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
Colombia's textile and clothing sector
is a key part of Colombia's economy. In
2007 it accounted for 11.6% of the
country's manufacturing gross domestic
product (GDP), for 1.7% of its total GDP
in 2007, and 5.4% of total exports.
Overall, the textile and clothing sector
accounts for 12% of all manufacturing
employment in Colombia.
In 2007 Colombia's exports of textiles
and clothing grew by 47% to reach a
value of US$2.05 bn.
Almost all of Colombia's textile and
clothing exports are currently sold to
customers in the USA and nearby Latin
American countries such as Ecuador, Peru
and Venezuela. Very few firms have made
the foray into markets further afield,
such as those in the EU, although it
could be simply a matter of time before
this market becomes a target for some of
the larger companies in Colombia.
In the meantime, the Colombian garment
industry has a good reputation in the
USA and Latin America for the production
of fine lingerie, swimwear and jeanswear.
Eight large Colombian manufacturers are
featured in a report by Textiles
Textiles and Clothing in Colombia:
Profiles of Eight Companies.
The report contains an assessment of
each company's operations, their
products and markets as well as an
overview of the main political and
economic opportunities and threats which
they face in the near term future.
Textiles Intelligence is a publisher
of high quality business information
about the global fibre, textile and
clothing industries. It has four regular
reports, Textile Outlook International,
Technical Textile Markets, Performance
Apparel Markets and Global Apparel