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Enlargement and the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Industry


  • Doris Hanzl-Weiß


The textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry is a labour intensive industry, strongly determined by globalization and easy relocation to low-cost countries. Hence also in the European Union this industry is relatively more important in the low-wage regions of the EU-Southern periphery. With the envisaged enlargement, however, these countries fear a further shift of the sector to Central and Eastern Europe as these countries still have a comparative advantage in terms of low labour costs. The present article investigates whether this fear is justified, looking at three main aspects: first at the position and history of the TCF sector in the European Union and its role in the EU periphery, second at the sector in the Central and Eastern accession countries, and third at gobalization issues. The second aspect is dealt with in great detail, as development trends in the Central and East European countries are important and telling. Much has happened during the 15-year (and more) period between the collapse of communism and the EU membership in this region, most important the integration to the EU by the means of trade, in particular outward processing trade. These developments mainly seem to determine future trends in an enlarged Europe. Overall however, future prospects have to be seen in a global context, strongly influencing the sector via changes in global trade policies. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Doris Hanzl-Weiß, 2004. "Enlargement and the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Industry," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(6), pages 923-945, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:6:p:923-945

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertacchini Enrico & Borrione Paola, 2009. "The city mouse and the country mouse: the geography of creativity and cultural production in Italy," EBLA Working Papers 200902, University of Turin.
    2. Onaran, Özlem & Stockhammer, Engelbert, 2006. "The effect of FDI and foreign trade on wages in the Central and Eastern European Countries in the post-transition era: A sectoral analysis," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 94, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. Scott, Allen J., 2006. "The Changing Global Geography of Low-Technology, Labor-Intensive Industry: Clothing, Footwear, and Furniture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1517-1536, September.
    4. repec:rom:rmcimn:v:19:y:2018:i:4:p:328-340 is not listed on IDEAS

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