Apparel imports by the EU were up 0.22 per cent in December 2016. Full year imports reflect a rebound in clothing demand from EU buyers after the euro stopped falling from a year earlier. During 2016, the combined imports of woven and knitted apparels increased by 5.53 per cent compared to 2015.
Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam registered positive hikes in both value-wise and volume-wise apparel exports to the EU whereas India and China recorded a drop in their value-wise apparel exports to the EU in 2016.
The EU is one of the largest importers of textiles and garments in the world. China is the largest exporter of apparels and clothing to the EU followed by Bangladesh, Turkey, Cambodia, Morocco, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Vietnam. India's readymade garment sector will continue to enjoy 20 per cent duty export preference for the next three years to EU markets.
The EU itself has a vibrant textile and clothing industry. It covers a wide range of activities like transferring raw fiber into yarns and then yarns into fabric and then finally using the fabric to produce a wide range of finished products such as wool, bed-linen, geo-textiles, clothing, and synthetic yarns.