Greek industry needs a modern, competitive textile sector

Greece needs to seek a new more robust and dynamic economic structure and Greek industry needs a modern, quality and competitive textile industry. “This is today’s and tomorrow’s primary national challenge and all our efforts must move towards this direction,” Eleftherios Kourtalis, president of the Federation of Greek Textile Industries said on Wednesday.

Addressing an annual general assembly of the federation, Kourtalis said that a rapid restart of the Greek economy needed: a) to immediately abandon an austerity policy which in times of recession inflicts more damage instead of curing the Greek economy’s pathogenies and b) strengthening healthy business activity and particularly industry towards the modernization and improvement of production competitiveness.

He urged the state to promote rapidly a reorganization of political-administrative system to eliminate investment counter-incentives, to set up a clear, simple and stable tax legislation aimed to combat tax evasion and gradually rationalize corporate tax burdens. Also he urged the state to encourage every innovative and extrovert investment initiative, to support healthy competition, to strengthen anti-monopoly legislation, to combat smuggling and informal labour, to draft a national industrial policy and to exploit existing national and community legislation to support the textile industry.

At the same time, the business community has to seek and attract new and bold producers, to focus on
improving labour productivity through new technologies, combined with operational restructuring and revision of labour relations on a new mutually beneficial basis.

Kourtalis said Greek textile industry production grew 4.0 pct last year compared with 2015, while production of textile material grew 2.2 pct and clothing production fell 9.1 pct.

Textile industry imports (raw materials and products) grew 11.5 pct in 2016, while exports rose 8.3 pct compared with 2015, while exports grew 18.6 pct in the first quarter of 2017.

Kourtalis said the industry needed a recovery in investments, a rethink of energy costs, ensuring good quality cotton, to overcome payment delays in commercial transactions, a new pension and labour legislation, a return of the banking system to normality and improvement in a development law.