To compensate for the loss of market which is expected once the Transpacific Agreement takes effect, the textile industry intends to resume FTA negotiations with the northern country.
A free trade agreement with Canada would allow the exporting textile companies to enter a market with high potential, since according to theexecutive director of Camtex, Patricia Figueroa, the country imports more than $14,000 million a year in textiles products and confection of synthetics such and towels, carpets, curtains and tablecloths. "
A meeting is being convened for the textile and clothing industry on March 16 in El Salvador, where the overall situation in the sector will be discussed.
From a statement issued by Proesa:
El Salvador is preparing for the third edition of the Forum of Textiles and Apparel (FOROTEX) 2016, a space where high-level international speakers present trends and strategies for competing in international markets.
The textile industry has proposed that the government implement labor schemes with flexible hours, allowing plants to operate on shifts of up to 14 and 16 hours.
The proposal involves establishing modern labor schemes, as implemented in other markets, said Patricia Figueroa, executive director of the Chamber of the Textiles, Clothing and Free Zones of El Salvador. With this plan different employees work in plants in longer shifts, allowing better utilization of productive resources.
During the first six months of 2013 the textile industry sold $1,140 million, $104 million more compared to the same period in 2012.
"The industry has performed well, and that means more jobs in El Salvador," said Doris de Rivera, an economist in charge of the study by the Chamber of Textile, Clothing and Free Zones Companies(CAMTEX).
According to the Chamber of the Textile, Clothing and Free Zone Companies of El Salvador (CAMTEX), the cost of energy is one of the obstacles that is preventing this sector from increasing its productivity.
Textile businessmen say the new free zones law has caught the interest of investors and will strengthen the productive chain.
Elsalvador.com reported that "despite a series of reforms promoted under the table by the Finance Minister Carlos Cáceres, which put companies operating under the Free Zone scheme on alert, the approval of the regulations as they had been agreed between the public and private sector a year ago, "is a tremendous tool (...), a tremendous engine which will make this sector take off," said the president of the Chamber of the Textile, Clothing Companies and Free Zones in El Salvador (Camtex), Jose Antonio Escobar ".
With a 4% increase in exports in 2012 compared to the previous year, the textile industry remains the main pillar of foreign trade in El Salvador.
Revenue from sales from the textile industry in El Salvador during 2012 totaled $2.1965 billion, $73.4 million more than in 2011.
Elmundo.com.sv reports that "In recent years, the textile and clothing sector has maintained an upward trend in foreign sales, to the point where exports account for 48% of the country’s total, stressed the Chamber of the Textile, Clothing and Free Zones of El Salvador (Camtex). "
The Chamber of Textile, Clothing Companies and Free Zones states that if the new law on Free Zone included the tax, it would drive away millions of dollars in investments.
Elmundo.com.sv reports that "The Chamber of Textile, Clothing Companies and Free Zones of El Salvador (Camtex) on Wednesday opposed changes made by the Finance Minister Carlos Cáceres to the proposed amendments to the Law on Free Zones, agreed with the sector since October 2011."
From January to September this year the Salvadoran textile and clothing sector exported $792.4 million, 6.7% less than in the same period in 2011.
Elsalvador.com reports that "The production of textiles and clothing lost momentum in growth between January and September compared to the same period last year due to a slowdown in the U.S. economy and the fiscal crisis in Europe .
The government of El Salvador is discussing with the private sector a bill to create specific zones for agricultural activities.
Once the Assembly approves the amendments to the free zones law, which will modify the industrial free zone scheme, negotiations will begin for the creation of a specific regime for the agricultural industry.