Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.1/2597
Título: Technological adjustments in textile, clothes and leather industries: an alternative pathway for competitiveness
Autor: Cesário, M.
Noronha, Teresa de
Data: 2012
Editora: Edward Elgar Publishing
Citação: Cesário, M.; Vaz, M. T. N. Technological adjustments in textile, clothes and leather industries: an alternative pathway for competitiveness , In Entrepreneurship, Social Capital and Governance, 325-357, ISBN: 978-1-78100-283-4. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012
Resumo: The importance of the textile, clothing and leather (TCL) sectors in Europe is obvious. As an industry based predominantly on small and medium-sized enterprises(SME) with an annual turnover of more than €230 billion produced by around 273 000 enterprises, these sectors employ more than 3 million people in the European Union (EU)-27. The liberalization process following the signing of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement has increased import penetration in these sectors, with the EU industry experiencing serious difficulties in competing with foreign operators working with lower labour costs and less stringent social and environmental regulations (COM, 2004). These new economic conditions have been forcing a restructuring in these industries. The ability to react and to adjust technologically to the challenges of these harder market conditions is what determines whether a region is a producer of high-value- added goods or a mere subcontractor. Although delocalization is a common threat, industrial agglomerations in low-cost countries are related to inferior working conditions, while in economically advanced countries the expansion of more skilled forms of work in the fashion-intensive production centres could compensate the further job loss. In fact, alternative employment opportunities may arise from complementary areas linked to technological innovations, and although one can expect further job decline in manufacturing productive units, the creation of high-qualification jobs in complementary areas, such as design, marketing, retail and management, may also be expected (Scott, 2006). The first objective of the present research is to describe the process of adoption of new technologies in the TCL sectors from a group of southern European regions. The way technological capabilities depend on localized assets is debated, and the evolutionary economics perspective is used to understand how regions are able to adapt to change, given their history. As argued by Bristow (2010), regional economic resilience is best understood when it is related to place-specific assets. The second objective is to observe the impacts of technological adjustment strategies on local labour demand. Manufacturing activities, like TCL, that are very susceptible to offshoring to low-wage countries, rely on the low level of territorialization and the low level of transaction costs(Storper, 1999, 2000). This situation allows low-wage product competition, and, when measured in terms of its impact on labour markets in developed countries, it creates low-wage competition for about 5 per cent of its workforce (Revenga, 1992). On this issue, we argue that technological adjustment strategies in the TCL sectors are decisive for regional employment and income perspectives because they provide alternative pathways for competitiveness in regions where low-cost strategies are not able to supply competitive advantages.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.1/2597
ISBN: 978-1-78100-283-4
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