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fashion-features

Post-Quota Winners and Losers

WASHINGTON — After unleashing global trade from the restraint of quotas on Jan. 1, the dust is far from settled, but China has lived up to...

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BANGLADESH
Up $96 million
Considered one of the most competitive markets for mass market apparel, Bangladesh has a low-cost workforce and increasing productivity, though it still lags behind China. The government has been working to improve labor standards, though overall economic reform has been held back by widespread corruption.
Population: 144 million
Labor Force: 65 million
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $2,000
Industrial Production Growth Rate: 6.5 percent

INDONESIA
Up $80 million
Indonesia has picked up share with a low-cost labor force that is both large and skilled. The country also has significant manufacturing base for raw materials, particularly synthetic textile goods. Persistent political and social unrest, however, have made investors wary.
Population: 242 million
Labor Force: 112 million
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $3,500
Industrial Production Growth Rate: 10.5 percent

SRI LANKA
Up $75 million
With a relatively small and high-cost labor pool, Sir Lanka has nonetheless managed to pick up its share of apparel and textile imports to the U.S. during the first quarter. The country relies heavily on imported yarns and fabrics for its apparel production, which could prove a disadvantage. Late last year, a tsunami killed nearly 40,000 in Sri Lanka and destroyed significant amounts of property, though the apparel industry was relatively unaffected.
Population: 20 million
Labor Force: 7 million
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $4,000
Industrial Production Growth Rate: 7.1 percent


LOSERS: Countries that have seen the largest dollar decrease in textile and apparel imports since Jan. 1.


HONG KONG
Down $148 million
A free-market economy, Hong Kong is highly dependent on international trade, handling many of the goods coming out of China. That has tapered off dramatically since quotas were dropped. Tiny geographically — Hong Kong is just six times the size of Washington, D.C. — it became a special administrative district of China in 1997 and operates in tandem with its larger neighbor under the "one country, two systems" rule.
Population: 7 million
Labor Force: 4 million
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: $34,200
Industrial Production Growth Rate: 1 percent

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