At the end of 2007 the producers in Europe will experience for a second time the effects of the end of the Multifiber agreement. They had about 30 months to prepare for the new rise of Chinese imports. This time they understood:
- there is no other option, but free trade;
- they need to invest in fast fashion developments;
- they have to relocate not only production but other operations to improve competitiveness;
- the next step is to look for a strategic partner in one of the production centers in Eastern Europe.
Actually there is no big choice in Eastern Europe today. Cost in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) is going high. Romania's export figures show decline and this confirms the trend that volume European orders are going to Asia. Bulgaria with flexible production increased exports to Europe for the first 8 months of 2006 by more than 10%, remaining one of few European countries unaffected by the end of the quota era.
There are producers that know what they have to do. They need to react to the global changes, or close operations...