The Moldovan textile industry represents nearly one quarter of the country's total exports and has significant growth potential. It includes a number of sectors such as production of textiles (knitted articles and carpets), garments, leather, leather articles and footwear (including travel articles).
Moldova’s main competitive advantages include a competitive and well-trained workforce, a high quality finish and easy access to both CIS and European markets. 330 companies operate in the Moldovan textile industry, most of them in CM (cut and make), CMT (cut, make and trim) processing. Major foreign partners for outsourcing are Italian, German, American, Austrian and Dutch. About one quarter of Moldovan companies operating in the manufacture of wearing apparel have foreign capital, and cover about two thirds of the total sales revenue in the sector.
Strategic direction/ specific schemes and incentives
The main orientations for the development of the textile industry are:
Upgrading the textile and apparel value chain: increasing the competitiveness in the CM industry, developing Full-Package services (design, fabric sourcing, trims and logistics) and exporting to new markets;
Attracting foreign partners to modernise equipments and reinforce skills in areas such as management, branding, merchandising and logistics.
Specific advantages in the textile industry include the exemption from duty and VAT for the import of materials for processing (CM).
Main promising subsectors:
Apparel and footwear: establishment of Moldovan brands and retail chains, outsourcing;
Textiles: bed linens (good supply of cottons);
Carpets: growing demand in CIS, good quality-price ratio especially for the wool-made carpets, exports have significantly increased and now outweigh all other types of textiles.
Some success stories
Moldovan-Italian joint-venture Steaua-Reds was established in 1998 on the basis of the knitting factory Steaua. It employs more than 250 persons and produces a large range of knitted articles for ladies, men and children, using different fabrics and types of finishing (printing, machine and manual embroidery).
Moldovan-Belgian joint-venture Moldabela was established in 2001 on the basis of the local company Covoare-Ungheni. It manufactures jacquard, synthetic and wool carpets and received the ISO 9001 certification. It operates in the Ungheni-Business FEZ.
Tirotex, a local company operating in Tiraspol, is one of the major Moldovan success story and one of the largest textile enterprises in Europe and CIS. It has an annual production capacity of 140 million of square meters of finished fabrics. Its modern equipments allow the processing of cotton rolls to packaged products with bar code. 42% of its production is sold to the local market while the rest is exported to CIS, EU and USA. It co-operates with companies from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, etc.
Useful links and contacts
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova
European Business Association in Moldova
Employers Association of Light Industry from the Republic of Moldova (website to be launched)