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Delocalization and Persistence in the European Clothing Industry: The Reconfiguration of Trade and Production Networks


  • John Pickles
  • Adrian Smith


Pickles J. and Smith A. Delocalization and persistence in the European clothing industry: the reconfiguration of trade and production networks, Regional Studies. This paper examines processes of delocalization and the phenomenon of the 'spectre of China' in the European clothing industry following the removal of quota-constrained trade in 2005. It examines the changing geographies of trade and production in the European clothing industry, with a specific focus on the patterns of delocalization and production resilience in East-Central Europe. Through an analysis of trade flows to core European Union markets, it is shown how the articulation of sourcing strategies, trade policies, and locational decisions are producing distinctions in a more liberalized global trading environment between shifts towards the globalization of production networks alongside an intensification of the regionalization of clothing production in lower-cost-producing regions of East-Central Europe (and North Africa) that are proximate to major markets. The paper also examines some of the reasons for these different geographies of sourcing. [image omitted] Pickles J. et Smith A. La delocalisation et la capacite de reprise de la confection: la nouvelle configuration des reseaux d'echanges et de production, Regional Studies. Cet article cherche a examiner les processus de delocalisation et le phenomene du 'spectre de la Chine' dans la confection en Europe suite au demantelement du contingentement des echanges en 2005. On examine l'evolution de la geographie des echanges et de la production dans la confection en Europe, portant notamment sur la distribution de la capacite de reprise de la delocalisation et de la production dans le centre-est de l'Europe. A partir d'une analyse des flux d'echanges a destination des principaux marches de l'Union europeenne, on demontre comment l'articulation des strategies d'approvisionnement, des politiques commerciales et des decisions de localisation font des distinctions dans des milieux commerciaux mondiaux plus liberaux entre des mouvements vers la mondialisation des reseaux de production conjointement avec une intensification de la regionalisation de la confection dans les zones de production a couts plus faibles du centre-est de l'Europe (et de l'Afrique du Nord) qui sont a proximite des principaux marches. L'article examine aussi quelques-unes des raisons qui expliquent ces differentes geographies d'approvisionnement. Delocalisation de la production Liberalisation des echanges mondiaux Confection Reseaux de production mondiaux Chaines de valeurs mondiaux Centre-est de l'Europe Pickles J. und Smith A. Delokalisierung und Persistenz der europaischen Bekleidungsindustrie: die Neuausrichtung von Handels- und Produktionsnetzwerken, Regional Studies. In diesem Beitrag untersuchen wir die Prozesse der Delokalisierung und das Phanomen des 'Schreckgespensts China' in der europaischen Bekleidungsindustrie nach Abschaffung der Handelsquoten im Jahr 2005. Wir untersuchen die geografischen Veranderungen des Handels und der Produktion in der europaischen Bekleidungsindustrie unter besonderer Berucksichtigung der Ablaufe bei der Delokalisierung sowie der Belastbarkeit der Produktion in Mittel- und Osteuropa. Anhand einer Analyse der Handelsstrome in die zentralen Markte der Europaischen Union zeigen wir auf, wie es im Zuge der Entwicklung von Beschaffungsstrategien, Handelspolitiken und Standortentscheidungen im Bereich des starker liberalisierten Welthandels zu Unterschieden kommt, was die Veranderung hin zur Globalisierung von Produktionsnetzwerken sowie die intensivere Regionalisierung der Kleidungsherstellung in den preisgunstiger produzierenden und nah an den grosseren Markten gelegenen Regionen von Mittel- und Osteuropa (und Nordafrika) anbelangt. Ebenso werden in diesem Beitrag einige der Grunde fur diese verschiedenen Geografien der Beschaffung erortert. Delokalisierung der Produktion Liberalisierung des Welthandels Bekleidungsindustrie Globale Produktionsnetzwerke Globale Wertschopfungsketten Mittel- und Osteuropa Pickles J. y Smith A. Deslocalizacion y persistencia en la industria de confeccion de Europa: la reconfiguracion de las redes comerciales y de produccion, Regional Studies. En este articulo analizamos los procesos de deslocalizacion y el fenomeno de la 'amenaza de China' en la industria de confeccion en Europa tras la retirada de las cuotas que limitaban el comercio en 2005. Analizamos los cambios geograficos del comercio y la produccion de la industria de confeccion en Europa centrandonos especificamente en los modelos de deslocalizacion y la resistencia de produccion en Europa del este y central. Mediante un analisis de los flujos comerciales a los principales mercados de la Union Europea, demostramos como la articulacion de estrategias de suministro, politicas comerciales y decisiones de ubicacion estan creando distinciones en un entorno comercial mas liberalizado a nivel global entre los cambios hacia la globalizacion de las redes de produccion junto con una intensificacion de la regionalizacion de la produccion en el sector de confeccion en las regiones que producen a bajos costes de Europa central y del este (y el norte de Africa) que estan cerca de los mercados principales. En este articulo tambien examinamos algunos de los motivos para estas diferentes geografias de suministro. Deslocalizacion de la produccion Liberalizacion del mercado global Industria de confeccion Redes de produccion global Cadena global de valores Europa central y del este

Suggested Citation

  • John Pickles & Adrian Smith, 2011. "Delocalization and Persistence in the European Clothing Industry: The Reconfiguration of Trade and Production Networks," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 167-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:45:y:2011:i:2:p:167-185
    DOI: 10.1080/00343401003601933

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    Cited by:

    1. Gereffi, Gary, 2015. "Global value chains, development and emerging economies," MERIT Working Papers 2015-047, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Raveen Ekanayake, 2014. "Repositioning in the Global Apparel Value Chain in the Post-MFA Era: Strategic Issues and Evidence from Sri Lanka," Departmental Working Papers 2014-17, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    3. Yoruk, Deniz E., 2019. "Dynamics of firm-level upgrading and the role of learning in networks in emerging markets," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 341-369.
    4. Patsy Perry & Steve Wood & John Fernie, 2015. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Garment Sourcing Networks: Factory Management Perspectives on Ethical Trade in Sri Lanka," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 737-752, September.
    5. Chun Yang & Canfei He, 2017. "Transformation of China's ‘World Factory’: Production Relocation and Export Evolution of the Electronics Firms," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 108(5), pages 571-591, October.
    6. Pipkin, Seth & Fuentes, Alberto, 2017. "Spurred to Upgrade: A Review of Triggers and Consequences of Industrial Upgrading in the Global Value Chain Literature," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 536-554.
    7. Baiardi, Donatella & Bianchi, Carluccio & Lorenzini, Eleonora, 2015. "The price and income elasticities of the top clothing exporters: Evidence from a panel data analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 14-30.
    8. Plank, Leonhard & Staritz, Cornelia, 2014. "Global competition, institutional context, and regional production networks: Up- and downgrading experiences in Romania's apparel industry," Working Papers 50, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    9. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Swarnim Waglé, 2013. "Export Performance in Transition: The Case of Georgia," Departmental Working Papers 2013-02, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    10. John Pickles, 2012. "South African horticulture: opportunities and challenges for economic and social upgrading in value chains," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series ctg-2012-13, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    11. Ayda Eraydin, 2014. "The importance of endogenous capacities and government support in the resilience of regions," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1308, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Curran, Louise & Zignago, Soledad, 2012. "EU enlargement and the evolution of European production networks," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 240-257.
    13. Nikolaus Hammer & Réka Plugor, 2019. "Disconnecting Labour? The Labour Process in the UK Fast Fashion Value Chain," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 33(6), pages 913-928, December.
    14. Christian Sellar & Rudolf Pástor, 2015. "Mutating Neoliberalism: The Promotion of Italian Investors in Slovakia before and after the Global Financial Crisis," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 342-360, March.
    15. Salvador Vivas-López & Francisco Puig & Victor Oltra & Miguel González-Loureiro, 2016. "Globalized Markets and Startup Dynamics in Mature Manufacturing Industries," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 7(4), pages 947-962, December.
    16. Steve Wood & Jonathan Reynolds, 2014. "Establishing Territorial Embeddedness within Retail Transnational Corporation (TNC) Expansion: The Contribution of Store Development Departments," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(8), pages 1371-1390, August.


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