Textile and Clothing

Key Figures

  • 35% of the total number of employees in the industry
  • The high-quality standard of Macedonian personnel with attractive costs
  • Highly modernized production plants
  • Short transportation/delivery times
  • Good geographic location and favorable economic conditions
  • 100% foreign ownership of a company allowed
  • Operating costs among the lowest in Europe and Eastern Europe

Sector Overview

The textile industry is one of the most developed and diversified sectors of the economy in terms of industrial production, employment, and export earnings and the 2nd biggest industrial sector of the country after metallurgy. The textile and clothing sector contributes to 17% of the industry’s GDP and 14% of total country exports. The textile and clothing industry is characterized by customer focus and orientation, availability of experienced labor, and flexibility to quickly respond to the customers’ requirements. The country offers potential not only for new foreign direct investment but also for outsourcing, strategic alliances, and joint ventures with many local well-established companies.

Sustainable Work Force Supply

The textile industry plays a vital role in the country’s social well-being through employment in numerous regions of North Macedonia. It employs 40 000 people or 1/3 of employees in the manufacturing industry. North Macedonia offers a cost-competitive environment for textile manufacturing. A labor cost has a sustainable supply of young, highly skilled labor at a competitive cost. The average gross salary in February 2020 was €659 per month across all sectors, while in textile manufacturing the average gross salary was €534, and in the manufacture of wearing apparel, the average salary was €423.

Advantages

  • One of the biggest competitive advantages that the textile industry possesses is its proximity to Western Europe, a large and consumer market;
  • Another advantage is the fact that the local manufacturers have a good image in the global market. Companies from the country have been present in the EU and US markets for decades and are known for their quality and professionalism. The industry also is characterized by high flexibility and readiness to adapt to the demands of foreign markets;
  • Work with highly trained personnel who have been working in the industry for years which leads to an exceptional relationship between quality and price of products;
  • Good and modern equipment of the factories, following world trends in developing textile machines and production technologies. In addition to modern textile equipment, more and more companies invest in computer technologies (CAD/CAM system, plotters, etc.) that provide product models that meet the demands of buyers and can be used as a perfect training tool for introducing own designs;
  • Relative closeness to EU-markets and traditionally good transportation and logistics net­works. Most of the big European transportation companies have privately-owned vehicles and ware­houses located in our country.
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Export

With a long tradition in clothing and textiles, this sector is the second largest export industry in North Macedonia and is mainly export oriented. The competitive export advantages of the Macedonian apparel industry are:

  • Short period from orders to delivery,
  • Flexibility of delivery size together with exceptional value for money,
  • Good quality of performance,
  • High productivity and
  • Good transport and logistics services.

The garment industry in North Macedonia exports mainly to EU countries. 93% of the production is organ­ized by the CM or CMT (Cut, Make& Trim) system for foreign markets. Full production and own brand production is partly exported and the rest is placed in the domestic market. The most important export destination, with more than 63,7% of exports, is Germany, followed by Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Denmark.

Popular brands operating in the country

There are a large number of popular fashion brands that have or are currently producing garments in North Macedonia including:

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