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2010 ITMF Annual Conference: Brazil And Its Textile Industry

Brazil boasts an expanding textile and apparel industry and one of the fastest-growing economies worldwide.

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

T he Brazilian textile and apparel industry comprises more than 30,000 companies in the textile and apparel sectors, generating some 14 million to 15 million jobs, both direct and indirect. Brazil is among the top 10 textile industry markets worldwide and among the top five as an apparel producer.

The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in South America, and one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources, environment and wildlife. The Federation is formed by the union of the Federal District and 26 states.

Bright Future
Today, the Brazilian economy is the world's eighth-largest by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the 10th-largest by purchasing power. The country is one of the largest domestic markets in the world and one of the fastest-growing economies today. That's why it is a member of the G20, but also a member of the United Nations and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR).

In the first half of 2010, more than 1.5 million jobs were created, a record high. During the same period in 2009, the Brazilian economy generated only 299,000 jobs owing to the international financial crisis. The government believes the Brazilian economy will create a total of 2.5 million jobs in 2010.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts an economic growth rate of 6.5 percent in 2010 for Brazil - higher than the previous estimate of 4.8 percent. For 2011, the economy is expected to grow 4.5 percent. The effects of the international financial crisis caused the economy to contract by 0.2 percent in 2009.

The OECD is not the only institution to predict a high growth rate for Brazil in 2010. In the most recent Focus market survey, the Brazilian financial sector projected 6.46-percent growth for this year. The Brazilian government's most recent estimate is 5.5-percent growth. According to the OECD, Russia, India and China - the other countries in the BRIC group - are undergoing a solid expansion as well, and will register positive figures this year.


Big Cotton And Textile Producer
Brazil is the fifth-largest producer of cotton, after China, India, the United States and Pakistan (See Table 1). The yield per hectare of cotton is rather high in Brazil, especially in the state of Mato Grosso.

The Brazilian textile industry is constantly growing owing to the acquisition of modern equipment and technical development applied to production, and also the promotion of its professionals through training programs and increasing productivity. This development program has already invested more than $8 billion. Its objective is to strengthen Brazil's textile industry in the globalized and competitive market.

Brazil has around 4 million ring spindles and 330,000 rotors in operation. It produces and consumes 5 percent of the world's total cotton crop. Producing approximately 1.2 million metric tons of cotton annually, Brazil exports almost 400,000 metric tons to Indonesia, Pakistan, Japan and Argentina.

The Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association (ABIT) represents the integration of the Brazilian textile chain. Founded in the early 1960s, ABIT sponsors companies in every segment in the textile industry, including cotton growing, synthetic raw materials, textile fibers, spinning, weaving, knitwear, dyeing, printing and apparel. ABIT participates actively in the evolution of the textile sector. A pioneer in the industrialization of Brazil, the textile sector stands out within the domestic economy. ABIT also coordinates relevant initiatives in the social and environmental arenas, besides sponsoring the sustainable growth of the industry.

Created in 2001, the Brazilian Textile Chain Strategic Program (TexBrasil) - developed by ABIT in partnership with Apex-Brasil, the country's export promotion agency - states its mission is to support and prepare sector companies to present, in an organized way, Brazilian products in international markets. Using various tools and actions, it aims to increase the platform of Brazilian export companies, encouraging their inclusion in the global market.

In 2009, the total turnover for the textile sector was $47 billion, and exports exceeded $1.8 billion. During the same year, the sector generated a deficit of $1.5 billion and created more than 66,000 job openings. In terms of consumption, Brazil holds fifth place after China, India, Pakistan and Turkey.

Ambitious Targets
Intensely investing in the excellence of domestic production, the textile sector intends to expand its operations. The domestic Brazilian market comprises 190 million consumers. In addition, the textile sector aims to recover its 1-percent share of the world market, which is equivalent to increasing the volume of exports to $4 billion per year. For 2010, the Brazilian textile industry expects to grow beyond the GDP and predicts an increase in consumption of textiles in the order of 12 percent.

These are ambitious targets, but by paving the way with adequate planning, such goals are surely compatible with the Brazilian reality. To achieve such aims, new investments in technology will be essential. Moreover, the country relies on the required managerial maturity as well as the creativity of its professionals. Within such a context, it is essential for the textile sector to join efforts and multiply convergences and know-how. ABIT supports such missions and offers the Brazilian textile market all the necessary support to meet the above-mentioned goals.

Fashionable Brazil
But Brazil plays a growing role not only with regard to cotton and apparel. To produce more value-added products, many Brazilian apparel producers are heading toward more fashionable fabrics and products. To support these activities, the second Première Brasil, a major Latin American textile industry event, took place in July 2010 at the Transámerica Expo Center in São Paulo. The show presented Fall/Winter 2011 collections of fabrics, yarns, fibers and accessories. It was supported by TexBrasil, the Brazilian Association of Fashion Designers (ABEST) and Sinditêxtil-SP. The event is a joint venture between Paris-based Première Vision S.A. and Brazil-based Fagga Events.

The second edition gathered 67 exhibitors from eight countries, including Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, England, Germany and Uruguay. Compared to the first edition, there was a 49-percent increase in the number of exhibitors.

Jacques Brunel, managing director, Première Vision S.A., Paris, said the event provided to Latin American countries an alignment with the international fashion calendar, presenting one year in advance the range of colors and fabrics for future collections. He also said the first Brazilian edition of the event helped reinforce the perception of strengthening the Latin American market and textile sector, pointing to Brazil as a starting point for expansion.

September/October 2010


Related Files:
View Table 1: World Cotton Production
View Table 2: World Cotton Consumption
View Table 3: Brazilian Cotton Exports