For Immediate Release
TIRANA, DECEMBER 21, 2011 On December 16, USAID/Albania co-sponsored Albania’s first national conference on the country’s garment and footwear industry. Albania's garment and footwear manufacturers are important to the country’s economy both in terms of exports and employment. Yet, the future sustainability of the industry depends on their transitioning from fasson production to full cycle operations in order to meet EU market demands for quick turnaround time on small orders of high quality finished products. The conference served as an important forum to discuss challenges facing these businesses.
Conference discussions centered on the need for manufacturers to adopt new technologies that would support full-cycle production, as well as the need to develop and strengthen partnerships with universities, business associations, and government to assist and support the industry’s growth and development.
USAID is assisting garment and footwear companies diversify and expand their buyer base for new profitable sales and make the necessary improvements in trade and investment, productivity, and workforce development to access finance, employ new technology, and demonstrate better management practices that build core competencies. At the firm level, USAID has worked with over 75 leading enterprises to help them improve competitiveness and gain access to new buyers and markets. At the industry-level, USAID’s Rritje Albania has helped build a common industry identity through multi-stakeholder events, a new industry website http://www.albaniangarment.com/, and the establishment of the Garment and Footwear Stakeholders Group as a public-private platform for voicing industry concerns. USAID also collaborates closely with the Polytechnic University of Tirana and the numerous industry associations in order to identify and implement sustainable solutions that will benefit the entire industry in the long term.
Other key co-sponsors of the conference included: the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX), the Networking and Capacity Building for Textile and Clothing Industry Associations in the Western Balkan Countries (TEX-WEB), the Chamber of Fasson of Albania, the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the Italian Development Cooperation Agency, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, the Albanian Investment and Development Agency (AIDA), and the Polytechnic University of Tirana.
Last updated: July 18, 2016