Moroccan textile industry has high hopes
Introduced in 2013, the 2025 plan for the Moroccan textile industry is gradually becoming clearer. During the trade shows Maroc in Mode and Maroc Sourcing, held from October 15-16, AMITH (Moroccan Association of Textile and Clothing) provided an update on the progress made in 2014.
First, having surpassed Tunisia and finished in fifth place in terms of textile exporters to the EU in 2013, Morocco appears to be on the right track (+8% in 2013) with a further increase of 9% over the first half. With these results, Mohamed Tazi, general manager of AMITH, hopes that Morocco will “consolidate its place in the top 5."
But the goals for 2025 are very ambitious, including measures to increase textile exports from 28 billion Moroccan dirhams (2.5 billion euros) to 57 billion in 2025. The measures involve organizing the sector into "ecosystems”, i.e. of practice areas, such as the jeans cluster created in late 2013. Knitwear may soon adopt the same structure.
The state will intervene in order to ensure that these economic interest groups strengthen their upstream supplies in order to offer contractors a more complete range. Five regulatory norms have been established, including two with the support of the company Inditex, notably as regards finishing.
But the main obstacle to this very ambitious plan is of course the European economy. Gildas Minvielle, head of the economic observatory at the IFM (Institut Francais de la Mode), emphasized the point during a conference at the Casablanca show: European consumption will most likely not rise very much in the near future. If Spain and France are Moroccan manufacturers’ principal clients, the industry will have to geographically diversify their customer base.
“Fears of a new drop in prices could also penalize the Moroccan textile industry if confirmed,” Minvielle also warned, who thinks that Morocco should not try to compete with the low Asian prices but rather “retain a fast fashion positioning with local sourcing."
For that reason, AMITH will count on a rise in African consumption, especially including its domestic market. This is the second part of the 2025 Plan: recapturing the Moroccan market as well as the production of supply.
Approximately one third of the textile supply in Morocco is manufactured domestically, according to an estimate by Mohamed Tazi. He counts on a boom in consumption and a rise in the share of domestic manufacture. While the Moroccan textile accounted for 16 billion dirhams (1.4 billion euros) in 2014 in its domestic market, he hopes that it will be 43 billion in 2025.
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