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De-localisation and persistence in the European clothing industry: the reconfiguration of trade and production networks

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Smith, Adrian; Pickles, John

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Abstract This paper examines processes of de-localisation and the phenomenon of the 'spectre of China' in the European clothing industry following the removal of quota-constrained trade in 2005. The paper examines the changing geographies of trade and production in the European clothing industry, with a specific focus on the patterns of de-localisation and production resilience in East-Central Europe (ECE). Through an analysis of trade flows to core EU markets we show how the articulation of sourcing strategies, trade policies and locational decisions are producing distinctions in more liberalised global trading environment between shifts towards the globalisation of production networks alongside an intensification of the regionalisation of clothing production in lower-cost producing regions of ECE (and north Africa) that are proximate to major markets. The paper also examines some of the reasons for these different geographies of sourcing.
Classification Political Economy; Economic Sectors; Area Development Planning, Regional Research
Free Keywords Delocalization of production; Global trade liberalization; Clothing industry; Global production networks; Global value chains; East-Central Europe
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 167-185
Journal Regional Studies, 45 (2010) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)