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General economic environment
The general economic environment in the T&C sector in Bulgaria indicated further recovery in 2013. Since the Clothing subsector represents the dominant part in the sector in the country, this applies mainly to the sewing industry, which has been showing positive signals. However, despite its lower share, the Textile industry has showed even better growth indicators. The increased demand in the whole T&C industry is caused primarily by the continuing comeback of investors and buyers from Asia and North Africa to Eastern Europe. This trend will expectedly be strengthened due to the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, which will drive even more players to the Balkan countries.
The production index showed a stable growth in 2013 compared to 2012. The 2010=100 index in Clothing in 2013 was 98,7 against 94,5 in 2012, i.e. 4% increase.
In Textiles the 2010=100 index was 98,9 in 2013 compared to 87,6 in 2012, which indicates almost 13% increase on a yearly basis. This high increase in the volumes was also confirmed in the larger number of employed in the Textiles industry in relation to 2012.
In general, production in the T&C sector experienced a considerable growth last year, thanks to the recovery of the world markets.
Prospects for 2014
The outlook for 2014 is expected to be quite positive, based on the early statistical results for the year. The production index in Clothing for the first 3 months of the year shows a 2% increase compared to the period January-March 2013. The increase in Textiles for the same period is 9%.
This positive trend is also reflected in the production turnover index (2010=100). It is averagely 114,2 for the first 3 months of 2014, compared to 108,0 for the same period in 2013. A similar increase in the turnover is observed in the Textiles subsector – 127,4 in January-March 2014 against 120,6 for the same period in 2013.
Advantages for Producing in Bulgaria
- Flexibility, possibility for production in small series
- Comparatively good technological equipment
- Proximity to markets and suppliers of materials
- Reliability and quick deliveries
- Experience in working with Western markets
- Still competitive labour expenses and prices
- High quality
- Highly-skilled labor force
- Consistent reliability
The Future of Apparel Retail in Europe
In the coming years, European retailers will be forced to import the majority of large order, commodity clothing from China in order to remain competitive. But remaining competitive for these firms will also mean reducing opportunity costs of lost sales resulting from mid-season stock- outs, particularly for higher quality items. China, due to its slow delivery and inability to ship in small quantities, will not be an option for retailers and buyers to respond quickly to unforecasted fluctuations in demand. European retailers must look closer to home for these solutions.
Bulgaria's Role in this Future
Bulgaria is Europe's quick response solution. Bulgarian firms are rapidly developing the internal capabilities to manage all aspects of their supply chains to European partners, including sourcing, design, transport/logistics and own branding. These capabilities, combined with Bulgaria's strategically favorable location, make working with Bulgaria a critical and valuable component to your company's strategy.
In short, Bulgaria is Europe's most reliable, capable and cost-effective solution for high quality, small orders that need to be there yesterday.
of Apparel and Textile Producers and Exporters (BAATPE)
36 Dragan Tsankov Blvd.
World Trade Center INTERPRED, 3rd floor, office 335
Tel.: +359 2 969 31 61, 969 31 66
Fax: +359 2 969 31 81