A new report by analytics firm Fitch Solutions predicts, Asia will remain a dominant player in garment production over the coming decade as China will reduce its apparel manufacturing operations and move up the value chain. However, the report says India and Indonesia may lose out due to the lack of conducive business conditions.
According to the report, many other Asian countries may benefit from favorable labor market dynamics such as sufficiently predictable logistical connections to serve external trade, free trade agreements that ensure preferential access to major consumer markets, and geographic proximity to raw material producers in China and India. Vietnam will benefit the most by attracting more investments into the country. In addition, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar will see greater gains in the coming years as costs in Vietnam will also rise.
The report identifies India and Indonesia as potential recipients of manufacturing shifts and growth in terms of global apparel export share. However, the two countries' annual growth rates will look less impressive compared with the other four countries including Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar. Lack of preferential trade access to the US and EU markets, as well as higher labor costs, will act as major obstacles for these two markets, the report observes. The report estimates high growth potential for textile manufacturing in neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Vietnam, supported by large and growing active populations and low labor costs.