TEX-MED ALLIANCES study highlights cooperation as strong driver for the competitiveness of the Mediterranean textile industry
The main objective of TEX-MED ALLIANCES project is the creation of “new alliances” between enterprises of the textile and clothing industry of the Mediterranean Basin. Initially, the project had to understand the current status of collaboration among SMEs in the project area as well as to understand the conditions, positive or adverse, that impact on the possibility of establishing new alliances.
This initial assessment is the project baseline.
The baseline was accomplished by assembling inputs provided by the Project Partners for their regions/countries and then organized in order to outline a holistic vison of the situation (that is for the whole area of the project). Our project partners are Business Representative Organizations (BROs) either focused on the Textile and Clothing (T/C) industry such as in Spain (Texfor), Greece (Sepee) and Italy (CTN, who is a multi-business BRO where, however, the Textile and Clothing is largely prevailing), or are specialized bodies that exert a propulsive role for the development of the T/C sector in their country: Cettex and mfcpole in Tunisia or are multisectoral BROs with strong connections with the Textile and Clothing business such as in Jordan (ACI) Egypt (Gacic) and Palestine (PFI). All project partners are endowed with a deep and long lasting knowledge of the local T/C industry as well as of their potential final beneficiaries of the project (SMEs). Actually, they are the organization that often provide sectoral information and data to the business community. Our baseline is rooted in a strong business culture.
However, since the baseline focuses a specific issue of the business (alliances in the Mediterranean Basin) they interviewed a number of their member to complement their knowledge. Unfortunately, the outbreak of Covid 19 prevented the finalization of the on -field survey that was originally planned. Despite the limited number of collected questionnaires, we can say that the inputs that data bases and the interviews gathered are confirmed.
What are the findings of our study?
Firstly: in the project area there are no alliances complying with the requirements of the ENI CBC Med Programme that are: “any kind of agreement among clusters, value chains, etc. that involve SMEs of both rims and are legal entities with stated objectives, rules (statute) and a governing body.
Therefore we start from scratch.
Secondly: the conditions for possible alliances are mainly positive.
The T/C industry in all regions/countries is very open to international cooperation. Exports and imports are massive in all countries, outsourcing and subcontracting between European and Mediterranean companies are extremely common since decades and FDI (delocalizations of European producers) are significant in Tunisia and Egypt. Differently from other cases, the Jordan T/C business, which is able to export the remarkable amount of 1,7 billion USD, is strongly linked with American large corporations much more than with European companies (Jordan benefits of a full free trade agreement with USA) while the Palestinian manufacturers access the international markets through Israeli companies.
The T/C sector is diversified along the value chain in the various Mediterranean regions/countries of the project with a quite clear division of specialisations in terms of products and services.
Each T/C region/country is well characterized by own competences as shown below:
- Catalunya (Spain): fashion for all, R&D innovation in materials, green economy
- Tuscany (Italy): fashion niche specialists, sustainability, recycling/regeneration
- Central Macedonia (Gr): industrial service providers, cotton innovation
- Central Tunisia (Tunisia): productivity in clothing, applied innovation in production
- Technical Textile Tunisia: technical clothing such as protection, enhanced natural fibres
- Alexandria Gov.te (Egypt): development of cotton, manufacturing,
- Amman Gov.te (Jordan): high productivity in manufacturing, USA specialists.
- Palestine (whole country): business adaptation to dire situations.
In conclusion, the definition of the baseline is a milestone for the further development of the project. Not only because it defines the starting point for the evaluation of the achieved results at its conclusion but also because it provides the initial framework and conditions in which the project has to be implemented.
Consult the baseline here.