Tunis/Tunisia — Approximately 87% textile and clothing companies have managed to keep their businesses going, despite the pandemic and state’s disengagement, the Tunisian Federation of Textiles and Clothing (FTTH) said in a statement Monday.
Indeed, the International Trade Center (ITC) and the Tunisian Federation of Textiles and Clothing (FTTH) held last Friday, a workshop to review the impact of the crisis Covid-19 on the textile and clothing sector and the recovery plan.
The detailed diagnosis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is based on the results of a survey of 248 companies spread over 9 regions and 7 production sectors.
The sample covers the different sizes of enterprises (VSEs, SMEs and large enterprises) divided into three regimes (sale on the local market, partial export and total export).
The survey has shown that despite a state support deemed insufficient, and below the expectations of all the sector’s stakeholders, as well as a very high social and fiscal pressure, manufacturers have stayed the course and continued the reform momentum of one of the key sectors of the Tunisian economy.
The textile and clothing sector remains the first employer and shifts between the first and second place in exports.
Companies in the sector regret, however, the low responsiveness of the government to the challenges of the sector, and its lack of understanding of the textiles and clothing dynamics.
The study of post COVID-19 opportunities has identified opportunities for companies in the sector, such as new niches, development of synergies between companies, more efficient risk management, strengthening agility, improving digitalisation and CSR practices and promoting Tunisia as a site of close sourcing.
According to this study, the sector’s recovery plan should be based on 5 strategic areas. These are solving cash flow problems and ensuring survival of companies, strengthening the internal capacity of companies, developing synergies between companies in the sector, supporting the production capacity of the local market, and enhancing the integration, the export capacity and the image of Tunisia internationally.
The survey is part of the “GTEX-Tunisia” programe, which provides strategic and operational support to the development and revitalization of the textile and clothing sector.
The Global Textiles and Clothing (GTEX) and Middle East and North Africa Textile (MENATEX) programs are implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) over a period of 4 years.
They are co-financed by the Swiss and Swedish governments respectively.