analysis - portugal textile firms weave way out of crisis
As a symbol of Portugal\'s economic ills, look at the broken windows, collapsed roofs and closed doors of more than a dozen textile mills inside and outside this northern town.
But, as often happens in Europe --
The debt crisis this year is not that simple.
Nearby, the loom of a small group of survivors is working at full speed to get out of the crisis.
These companies, which have experienced a downturn in the industry, now point the way forward for Portugal.
The poorest countries in Western Europe are in their worst recession since the turbulent years after the Democratic return in 1974.
Last year, it was forced to accept a bailout from the European Union/International Monetary Fund, unable to repay its debt, and the company lacked funds.
Even before the eurozone debt crisis, the textile industry, which was the backbone of Portugal\'s economy, was hit by cheap competition from Asia, changes in the EU customs system and weak domestic demand.
Over the past decade, its output has fallen by nearly 36% and its jobs have fallen.
Now, the biggest non in Portugal-
Textiles, clothing and footwear account for less than 10% of industrial output.
Food and beverage production alone exceeds-
Accounting for more than 10% of Portuguese exports.
Textile exports increased by 9 in the first 11 months of 2011.
3%, building in 6.
Growth in 2010 was 8% per cent.
Textile Association of Portugal (ATP)
Exports are expected to reach 4 billion euros. 3 billion (3. 3 billion)
Overall 2011, close to the pre-crisis level of 2008.
His words were overwhelmed by the noise of the Loom, and Lameirinho textile mill sales director Luis Rodrígues, with open arms like the conductor, showed all 130 machines, the size of each car works in two huge weaving rooms.
\"I am optimistic about the Portuguese textile industry,\" said Rodrigues . \"
\"The surviving company is still a reasonable Group --
Not very big, but they are successful companies that do their jobs-
Innovate and sell to the world.
12 miles (20 km)
Lameirinho\'s loom has its own brand of cloth every day.
More equipment is handled for other companies.
The factory that produces fabrics and bedding employs nearly 700 employees, including designers. Innovation -
From fashion design to materials and machinery
Export diversity, high quality and value chain promotion are the mantra of industry executives who are
Stop maximizing overseas sales.
90% of Lameirinho\'s output is sold abroad, 40% landed in the United States, L. L.
Bean, or SHLD controlled by Sears.
Bought a lot at the end of the land
Products such as Portuguese flannel are well received.
In Europe, it sells bedding and toiletries under the brand of famous Spanish designer Purificacion Garcia or Prada.
It also owns a factory in Barcelona.
The label \"made in Portugal\" can be found on the iconic Laurel wreath --
Decorate the Fred Perry polo shirt on Paul Smith and Neil Barrett men\'s wear.
Portugal\'s own fashion brand, Vicki Porto, has Hollywood actors, including the former
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the King of Spain are among their clients.
Not everything is optimistic, however, as the industry continues to cut jobs when the unemployment rate reaches a record high of 13%.
Three major players including Lameirinho\'s neighbor, Coelima, 90-year-
The old company found itself on the verge of bankruptcy last year.
With the support of banks and the state, a private equity fund took over the three funds in last May to restructure them and set up a group called MoreTextile.
In the process, about 2,000 employees of the company lost their jobs and made it possible to survive.
\"The three companies are protected,\" said Artur Soutinho, its CEO . \".
The home textile-focused group is now one of the largest textile groups in the EU.
\"The restructuring is still going on, but there are very good signs, such as a 10% increase in turnover to 0. 112 billion euros, across
\"Sales promote total sales and raw material procurement becomes more competitive,\" he added . \".
In terms of labor costs, it is also impossible for European countries because the labor cost in China is still 60-
Despite the recent increase, it was reduced by 70%.
\"The logic of selling cheap goods --
\"Time has passed and it is through innovation, the ability to deliver the required quantity on time, listening to customers and integrating the production chain that one can become competitive, regardless of your size,\" said Rodrigues.
Rose Campbell, home product developer in Los AngelesL.
Bean works with four Portuguese factories to sell their products as \"the best yarn in the world\"
Dyed cotton from mountainous towns in northern Portugal, \"he said, adding that the crisis in Europe and Portugal was worrying but did not affect the imports of retailers.
\"We know our partners have a financial milestone because borrowing costs more than it used.
But we think they accept what is happening and are moving forward.
\"We are very satisfied and are absolutely not going to leave there,\" she said . \".
\"There are quality and craftsmanship that are not available in China or Turkey.
\"The crisis did have an impact on the industry\'s overall output, which fell about 10% last year after the first moderate growth in 2010 limited a five-year decline.
Capacity expansion plan is suspended or not
Due to the tight financing.
But the ATP Association, which promotes Portuguese textiles overseas, said the industry now sells more products with higher added value, offsetting the impact of a decline in production.
\"In the context of the economic crisis in Portugal and most of Europe, the Portuguese textile industry has shown significant resilience. . .
\"For years, it has been competing on the world stage and all the necessary structural adjustments have been completed,\" said ATP director general Paul Watts . \".
The industry consists of about 7,000 small family-owned businesses, employing 150,000 people, accounting for 3% of the total workforce, down from 225,000 a decade ago.
The position of the textile cluster in and around the northern town of jimaras, known as the cradle of the country and the starting point for Portugal\'s re-conquest, can add symbolic value to any successful export offensive, set an example for the rest of the economy.
For an industry that has been exporting
The heavy part is that any further tangible growth in foreign sales is a daunting feat, a strategy that can bring good results to sectors that have so far worked primarily for the domestic economy.
Jose Armindo, executive director of Inarbel knitwear factory, has traveled between Spain, Italy and the UK in the last 10 days and brought back a contract with a London distributor, and two deals made locally for other brands.
\"Our response to the crisis is a strategic escalation --
In order to win smaller customers in more countries to distribute risks and sell more products with added value ,\"
\"Our competition is very fierce, our growth is very large, and I think Europe and the world should believe in Portugal,\" he said . \".
Instead of increasing the capacity of the plant, he subcontracted the work to small local companies that were not ready to enter the export market, which gave them a lotneeded orders.
His latest plan is to enter the Chinese market.
Still the main source of cheap textiles, but for the high
As the consumption capacity of the country\'s population grows, high-quality European clothing is growing.
\"Attack is the best way to defend.
I like to open up new markets and you are more likely to win.
\"I bet I will sell in China in a year or two,\" he said . \".
Annual sales of 6 million euros, only 1-
At a tenth of Lameirinho, Inarbel achieved 15% production growth last year.
Lameirinho\'s production was basically flat.
Rodrigues of Lameirinho said that all competition in the country is welcome and it is crucial to protect the Guimaraes cluster.
\"A client bought a ticket to Portugal to visit various companies in one place instead of one place.
\"It is not in our interest to be an independent producer,\" he said . \".
Executives in the industry are pinning their hopes on a recent trend, with some big European customers --
For example, Selfridges in the UK
Return to European suppliers and reduce reliance on China and India.
\"This is because of the higher quality here, the easier logistics, the possibility of fewer orders, which requires less liquidity --
This is important in the debt crisis.
Still, even if the industry continues to strengthen, it will take some time for jobs to grow significantly.
Abilio Moreira, consultation on corruption-year-
Former textile industry veteran worker, now running a snack bar next to Inarbel\'s restaurant, where workers go during lunch time, said there are too many companies in the area over the past decade
\"There are only a few plants left here, which affects my customers.
Women are still primarily employed in the textile industry, but men are leaving --
Immigrate to Spain, France or Brazil.
Our textile industry is likely to continue, but this crisis will only bring more haze.