Improving the International Competitiveness of the Textile and Clothing Sector, forms part of the Global Textiles and Clothing (GTEX) programme, a three-year project funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and overseen by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Egyptian Textiles, Apparel & Home Textiles (TA&HT) Export Council.

Magdy Tolba, Chairman of the Export Council commented, “Egypt has untapped potential in our traditional US market while we also want to expand our presence in Europe, in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and in Africa.”

This new project will align with the ongoing Textile and Clothing Programme for Selected Middle East and North African countries (MENATEX) programme, and vows to build a sustainable export-oriented sector that yields greater income and more jobs for the country’s population.

To establish the necessary infrastructure to achieve these returns, the project will first focus on national institutions and training centres to support local businesses during this transition. It’s said that Egypt’s industry is made up largely of small businesses which will need bolstering if they’re to adapt to great demand.

“The project will provide us with technical and operational knowhow, which will help in building capacity of factories as well as in accessing new technology and new trends to improve the quality of our products, thus increasing the competitiveness of the Egyptian textile and clothing sector,” Tolba noted.

“All this will serve in achieving the council’s goals, which are building capacity, doubling the exports and aiding the technology transformation. We are looking forward to a close collaboration with Switzerland and ITC in achieving this,” he added.

According to the ITC’s programme manager for fibres, textiles and clothing, Matthias Knappe, the project addresses the country’s most pressing needs. These, it’s thought, centre on reaching new markets and creating long-term employment particularly amongst women and young children.