New report: Bahraini textile factories to be closed following WTO agreement
Bahrain's cotton textile industry is under threat from a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement which comes into effect next year, according to a report by the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB).
A BDB official was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News that several factories have already closed and more are inclined to follow - meaning job cuts for hundreds of local and expatriate workers.
The Agreement on Textiles and Clothing lifts quotas on large textile exporters such as India and Pakistan.
These quotas were put in place to limit imports into states whose local industries were threatened by cheaper production costs of competing nations, including the US.
However, the quotas will be lifted by January 1 - concluding a 10-year process to bring the sector under WTO rules.
It is projected that this will make it harder for countries like Bahrain - which have higher production costs - to compete in cotton textiles.
According to the Gulf Daily News, Bahrain's textile industry is described as the country's third most important industrial sector after oil and aluminium. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)