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 is the 2nd biggest industrial sector of the country after metallurgy. The textile and clothing sector contributes 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.
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 December 2020 was €686 per month across all sectors, while in textile manufacturing the average gross salary was €533, and in the manufacture of wearing apparel, the average salary was €420.
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:
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 are 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.
There are a large number of popular fashion brands that have or are currently producing garments in North Macedonia including: