Friday, 21 September

Cheap Imports Remain Main Challenge to Armenia's Textile and Clothing Manufacturers

Armenian produced 544 million AMD (US$1.151 million) worth of textiles in 2014 and 7.334 billion AMD ($15.5 million) worth of clothing.

In comparison to 2013, this reflects a 2.9% drop in textiles and a 16.1% increase in clothing.

Textile production in the first four months of 2015 amounted to 134.5 million AMD ($ 284,600) and 1.980 billion ($4.189 million) AMD in clothing.

Light industry comprised some one-third of the economy in Soviet Armenia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the textiles and clothing production sectors saw declines of up to 60-70%

Light industry was also a major employer – some 115,000 people or 25-30% of the labor market.

Soviet Armenia was a major supplier of textiles and clothes for the overall Soviet economy. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, manufacturers in Armenia could not obtain raw materials and consumption levels decreased. New investors and a new wave of competition appeared on the scene.

According to Armenia’s National Statistical Service (NSS), clothing production comprises a mere 1% of the country’s manufacturing sector today.

While the domestic production of clothing has experienced an upturn since 2005, with the exception of 2009-2010, levels are still small and market potential remains untapped.

Cheap imports continue to be the major challenge for domestic textile and clothing manufacturers.

Armenia imported $31 million worth of tricotage (knitted) goods in 2014 and $44.6 million worth of non-tricotage clothes.  

Imports are mainly from China, Turkey, Italy, Bangladesh and lesser amounts from Vietnam, Belarus and India. 

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