Textiles Intelligence Tours Colombia's largest textile and clothing manufacturers
Textile Industry News Article Posted October 27, 2008

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In April 2008 reporters from Textiles Intelligence completed a seven-day tour of Colombia's most important textile and clothing manufacturers in Medelln, the country's main textile and clothing producing region, and Bogat, the 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
ndor, 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 Intelligence entitled 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 Markets.

Textiles and Clothing in Colombia: Profiles of Eight Companies was published by the global business information company Textiles Intelligence in Issue No 135 of Textile Outlook International.

Other reports published in the same issue include: 'survey of the European fabric Fairs for Spring/summer 2009; Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Bangladesh; New Uses for Wearable Textile-based Health Monitoring Technology; India's Apparel Exports: Strategic Responses to Slower Growth; and 'specialisation: The Key to Competitiveness in the Post-quota Global Apparel Market.

Issue 135 of Textile Outlook International costs 200 / Euro366 (Europe, Middle East or Africa) or US$481 (Americas or Asia Pacific). An electronic supplement is available; please contact us for details. For more information, please contact the Customer Services team at Textiles Intelligence, Alderley House, Alderley Road, Wilmslow SK9 1AT, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1625 536136; Fax: +44 (0)1625 536137. Email: info@textilesintelligence.com 

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