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Cablegate: Finland - Textiles and Apparel Production

VZCZCXRO7058
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHHE #0726 2681308
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251308Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3779
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000726

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TPP/ABT/GARY A CLEMENTS AND EUR/NB
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR/CAROLYN MILLER
COMMERCE FOR ITA/OTEXA/MARIA D'ANDREA
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KTEX FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND - TEXTILES AND APPAREL PRODUCTION
UPDATE

REF: SECSTATE 114799

1. Following is 2006 data for Finland (1 EUR=1.25
USD) keyed to ref request:

--Total inustrial production: 159.9 billion USD
--Total tetile and apparel production: 1,413
million USD--Textile and apparel share of Finland's
importsexports: 3.2%/0.%
--Exports of textiles and appaels to the US: 39.6
million USD
--Total manufaturing employment: 465 000
--Total textile and aparel employment: 8 576

2. Filand's traditional textile industry,
manufacturing cotton, woolen and other fabrics, has
almost disappeared. Manufacture of Finnish clothing
is increasingly taking place in Asian countries,
especially in China. Only one tenth of clothes sold
in Finland are produced in the country.

3. According to the Board of Customs, China accounts
for approximately 29 percent of clothing imports to
Finland. The real figure is estimated at about 35
percent, as many garments imported from other
countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, are in fact
manufactured in China. In 2006, total textile and
apparel imports to Finland amounted to 2.207 billion
USD (from China, Germany, Sweden and Estonia) and
the Finnish textile and fashion industry exported
goods worth 697.5 million USD (to Russia, Sweden,
Estonia and Germany). Imports in the textile
industry greatly exceed exports.

4. Finland's textile industry, mainly small or
medium sized enterprises geographically scattered
around Finland, has gone through a massive
modernization process in the past few years. The
industry has been forced to concentrate on its core
competencies (design, marketing and sales
operations) and outsource the less-strategic
operations in order to survive. Due to heightened
international competition and increasing production
costs in Finland, Finnish textile companies have
moved production to lower cost countries (mainly
China and Estonia). Both the number of employees and
the number of textile and apparel establishments in
Finland decreases every year. Today the Finnish
textile and clothing industry employs less than 10
000 workers, compared with 70 000 in the 1970s boom
years. The number of employees decreased by almost
nine percent, and the number of textile and clothing
establishments dropped by almost two percent from
2005 to 2006.

5. Finnish textile and apparel companies are
searching for cost benefits through subcontracting
from Asia. In Finland subcontracting is used in the
textile industry more often than in the world on
average, consequently the Finnish textile industry
turnover has continued to increase, although the
actual textile and apparel production is decreasing
in Finland.

6. Finland's northern location, the dramatic changes
in climate from season to season, and the small size
of the local market have caused the textile and
apparel industry to specialize. Finnish clothing
manufacturers have significant market shares in
various types of outdoor clothing with very precise
requirements. These include clothes for skiing,
hiking, hunting and tobogganing. The industry
specializes in professional and work clothing that
adds to safety and productivity, as well as daily
fashion. The Finnish textile and clothing industry's
products combine technical properties with elements
of Nordic design and high commercial quality. With
these changes - specialization, shift to
subcontracting and investment in low-wage countries
- the Finnish textile and apparel industry should be
able to survive.

HYATT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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