The UAE clothing industry must undertake measures to improve its global competitiveness, recommended a recent study issued by the Ministry of Treasury and Industry. The ministry emphasized the need to train and employ the local labor force, as well as to invest in modern industrial equipment.
Such moves are deemed necessary in preparation for the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations, which will go into force in 2005, and effectively render the current marketing quota system null and void.
The number of clothing manufacturing plants in the UAE stood at 149 during the first half of 2001, according to ministry figures. These factories employ 16 percent of the UAE’s industrial work force, or 28,490 workers, reported Al-Bayan daily.
Total investments in the clothing industry rose from 129 million Emirati dirhams ($35 million) to Dh 149 million during the same period. Sales of the local clothing sector amounted to Dh 3.37 billion in 2000, of which Dh 1.21 billion was sold locally and Dh 76.02 million to the Arabian Gulf markets.
It is considered the second largest manufacturing industry in the UAE after aluminium and constitutes about 15 percent of the non-oil industrial exports.
Most of the ready-made garment factories in the UAE are located in Sharjah and Ajman with some in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ). The vast majority are relatively small enterprises, set up with a capital investment under half a million dirhams each. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )