Textile and Apparel: an historical and "glo-cal" perspective. The Italian case from an economic agent's point of view
What might happen to the Italian Textile and Apparel industry? Does it deserve to survive, even if in a reduced dimension, or is it going to disappear, simply being a piece of our past without a passport to our future? This paper call for debate and reach a better view of a changing industry, starting from a different perspective from the usual one which regards the Textile and Clothing industry as a sunset one for western Europe. With the end of the quota system the Italian industry is facing market disruption produced by the flood of exports from China. Too much, too soon, too cheap. Italian entrepreneurs are over-reacting to this and technological innovation is no longer regarded as an opportunity to cultivate differential competitive advantage. Anti - dumping, tariffs and quotas are considered as controversial issues in the search for a new global balance. To reach this, we shouldn't forget that both structural and strategic aspects are always in action when international competition is concerned. All in all, transparency is very important and could be supported by product traceability. This issue is connected with the difference of standards and the difficulty to make them become a purchasing and innovation driver.
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