Salvadoran clothing and textile exports grew by 5.6% during the first six months of 2018. This growth is the equivalent of US $70 million more than what was exported during the same period of the previous year. The total value of Salvadoran clothing and textile exports reached US $1.3 billion for the period of January through June. This is according to figures provided by the Chamber of Textile, Clothing, and Free Trade Zones of El Salvador, also known by the acronym CAMTEX.
Salvadoran clothing and textile exports also represented 44% of all of the country’s overseas sales for the first six months of this year. Within this growth figure, the export of raw materials was valued at US $202 million, and exports of ready-made garments increased by a total of US $51.2 million over the same time period as 2017. Industry experts in El Salvador consider this amount of growth to be satisfactory and expect that the overall increase of Salvadoran clothing and textile exports will amount to approximately 4% for the year as a whole.
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Salvadoran Clothing and Textile Exports Have Room to Grow
Because sales of textiles to the United States are only 3% of that country’s total imports, there is much room for El Salvador to grow its sales in its northern neighbor’s market. In order to significantly boost exports to the US, however, more investment must be aimed at increasing Salvadoran clothing and textile exports. Although there has not been a large amount of investment in the sector by foreign companies in the last several years, industry experts recognize the fact that substantial investment must be made if El Salvador is to improve and to diversify its textile industry supply chain. Continuing investment must be made in technology, machinery, and human capital.
Salvadoran Clothing and Textile Exports to Other Trading Partners
In addition to the United States, the Salvadoran clothing and textile exports to Taiwan are significant in value. In 2016 sales from El Salvador to the island nation were valued at USD $400,000. Among the items bought by Taiwanese importers were pants, elastics, undergarments, and synthetic fiber shirts. In order to maintain and grow the commercial exchange with Taiwan further, the two countries must maintain their established duty-free trade relationship. The relationship between the two country’s may be subject to change, however, due to recent agreements made between El Salvador and the People’s Republic of China. Under an agreement with the Communist Chinese regime, El Salvador has moved to cut its formal diplomatic ties to Taipei.
More Salvadoran Clothing and Textile Exports to Mainland China?
Executives at the Salvadoran Textile Chamber point out that recent commercial agreements made between China and El Salvador could possibly be the source of increased uncertainty since both parties do not know how the relationship will develop. According to some analysts, however, one result of closer trade ties between El Salvador and the People’s Republic of China could be more purchases by the Asian country of Salvadoran clothing and textile exports.
To learn more about the Salvadoran textile and clothing sector, visit the country’s Chamber of Textile, Clothing, and Free Trade Zones (CAMTEX).