University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series
Last Updated: 22 May 2009
The Statistics Tell a Story; An Asian Look at the Evolving Global Textiles & Clothing Trade after Quota Expiry
Umair Ghori, University of New South Wales
This paper will shortly be available for download.
Textiles and clothing is a sector of critical importance to developing and least developed countries in terms of employment and export earnings. Majority of these countries are forced to be over-reliant on this sector for lack of better alternatives. With the end of quotas in 2005 and the resulting increase in competition, many countries are facing serious adjustment challenges including preference erosion, loss of market share in the prime export markets of the US and EU, heightened competition from China and other countries possessing comparative advantage in this sector, reduction in average prices of exports (amongst others). There were numerous case studies that attempted to predict the effects of quota elimination. However, in light of the available statistics and figures, many of the pre-elimination predictions have proven to be inaccurate. Many countries that were predicted to be “winners” have not as successful as anticipated earlier and many countries that were predicted as “victims” have emerged as survivors and posted respectable growth rates. This article highlights the evolving global trade in textiles and assesses the pre-elimination estimates in light of the available statistics.