Azerbaijan Textiles

Sector outlook

Azerbaijan has a long tradition of production, spinning and weaving of cotton. Under the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan was the third biggest cotton producer after Central Asian republics. Cotton was used to produce handicraft textile for the local market and exported to textile firms in Russia. After a strong decline in the 1990s, cotton production recovered at the beginning of the 2000s and reached 31,900 tons in 2009. The current output is still far below the 1980 level, when total production reached 800,000 tons.

Besides, the country has the potential to produce 9,000 tons of silk cocoons annually, i.e. 18 million m² of silk cloth. Other raw materials for the textile industry include wool, leather and synthetic fiber.

In addition to the local market, the main markets for Azerbaijan’s textile production are Russia, Central Asia and Iran.

Strategic direction/ specific schemes and incentives

Some initiatives were launched in order to attract investment in the textile industry, upgrade the value chain and develop exports:

  • Elimination of export duties on textile products; 
  • General System of Preferences (GSP+) trade regime with the EU: export of textile products is free of quotas and permits, and only the import customs duty is payable; 
  • Signature of a MoU for textile co-operation with Italy in 2010; 
  • Creation of the Textile and Ready-Made Clothes Association (TRMCA) in 2009, with the support of the GIZ: information, training, cooperation with international organizations, promotion.

Business opportunities

Opportunities in the textile industry include the production and export of:

  • Cotton yarn and fabric (weaving mills), wool;
  • Silk (especially in Sheki);
  • Clothing, including uniforms, protective clothing and underwear;
  • Carpets (especially in Guba and Ismayilli regions) and handicraft;
  • Spring beds;
  • Leather products and shoes.

The privatisation of state-owned textile plants and local companies looking for foreign partners in the regions are good opportunities to launch such projects.

Some success stories

MKT (Azerbaijan) purchased several cotton ginneries when they were privatised in 1997 and unified them under a limited liability company in 2002. In 2003, the company became associate member of the International Cotton Association. Since then, it has continuously been expanding the scope of its operation with a number of major investment projects.

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of EUROCHAMBRES and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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