The sector occupies a strong and increasingly growing position within the Tunisian economy with 2100 firms employing more than 200,000 people, 83 % of which are totally exporting companies.Tunisia’s textile sector posted a 274. 2% growth in foreign direct investments (FDI) during the first three months of 2009, the government in Tunis reported in May. The figure is in comparison with the same period in 2008. The news was announced by Mr Khaled Touibi, the director general of textile and clothing within the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Small and Medium Enterprises…The growth is essentially due to a substantial investment of 19.8 million dinars by the company Teinture et Finissage Mediterraneen. The investment, which took place in January 2009 in the Tunisian governorate of Ben Arous, has enabled the direct creation of some 61 jobs, Tunisia Online reported. The second major investment in the sector came from French company Damart, which recently selected Tunisia to centralise its production units…Meanwhile, in 2008, exports of the sector recorded a growth rate of over 8%.  More than 96% of exports went to European Union markets, mainly France, Italy, Germany and Belgium. Exports to the UK doubled in value between 2000 and 2008, according to official Tunisian figures…Tunisia exports of textiles, mostly garments, are estimated to be worth $4.7 billion annually. The country offers zero duty access to the EU on condition that its units use domestic fabrics or fabric exported from the Union. It had a strong garment industry and planned to establish processing units…The industry has been going through a period of transformation since the ending of the multifibre agreement (MFA) in 2005 ushering in an increasingly globalised trading environment. Firms have been forced to adapt to new market conditions in order to stay among the top producers of textiles in the face of fierce competition from Asian manufacturers. .Co-contracting, instead of subcontracting, and the specialisation in higher end products geared towards customers in European markets has become one option. Leading brands are now prepared to consider relocating production in Tunisia which can offer high value-added production and finishing. ..Under the impact of the MFA, Tunisia’s exports to the EU countries initially declined, but the trends are now upwards as the local industry started to specialise and more companies are now looking to the country. Main international brands now sourcing from Tunisia include: ADIDAS, ARMANI, BALMAIN, BARBARA, BENETTON, BURBERRY, CACHAREL, DIESEL, DIM, SARA LEE, SIMONE PERELE, VAN LAACK, H&M, HUGO BOSS, LACOSTE, MARKS & SPENCER, GAP, YVES SAINT LAURENT, ZARA, NEXT, JOHN LEWIS, FACONABLE,  H&M, HUGO BOSS, LEE COOPER,  TRIUMPH, RALPH LAUREN, TIMBERLAND, WANDERBRA, WRANGLER…..


Source:Global arab network