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An opportunity presents itself to Morocco as many foreign contractors turn to more local supply.

Moroccan Textile Industry Must Adapt to Post-Pandemic World

By Toms Dumpis

Agadir – The Moroccan textile industry today faces two major constraints: Over-reliance on the traditional textile markets, and the dependency on imported raw material.

As Europe struggles to control the pandemic, both Moroccan textile product exports, as well as the supply chain of raw materials coming from the continent, have experienced disruption.

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According to the Moroccan Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry (AMITH), the current health crisis has exacerbated the dire state of the Moroccan textile industry and drawn attention to its vulnerability, compared to other foreign competitors.

With challenges piling up as Morocco slowly moves to the post-pandemic, new normal, AMITH has drawn up a roadmap for developing the Moroccan textile sector. The group is basing its roadmap on four main factors: adaptation to the needs of the customers, innovation and creativity, sustainability, and the technical development of manufacturing capabilities.

Speaking to local media, Fatima Zahra Alaoui, Director General of AMITH, explained that “the sector must strengthen its level of adaptation to customer requirements, its anticipation capacities, as well as the quality of its logistics services.”

For Alaoui, such a shift will allow the Moroccan textile industry to adapt to the global sourcing map in a post-pandemic world. According to AMITH, many foreign contractors are turning to local suppliers. With countries and contractors visibly wishing to reduce their reliance on Asian countries, AMITH believes the post-pandemic reality could present a great opportunity for the Moroccan textile industry.

Innovation, creativity, and digitalization will be integral for developing Morocco’s textile market. Alaoui conceded, however, that taking advantage of the coming opportunities will require “an integrated Made In Morocco offer with excellent value for money.”

In terms of sustainability, Alaoui suggested that any proposed solution must meet the requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Her idea is that, as Moroccan textile operators and companies brainstorm how to respond to the new realities of the global market, they should integrate “eco-responsible” or environment-friendly manufacturing initiatives. They should opt for a type of manufacturing that allows for transparency when it comes to the sourcing of raw materials.

Many Moroccan companies are having a hard time keeping up with the market following supply disruptions and declining foreign demand. While the numbers for the 2020 financial year have not been finalized yet, the association pointed to an 11% drop since last November and a continued decline throughout December.

According to AMITH, 80% of companies within the textile sector are not planning on any sort of investment in the coming months. This can be explained by the uncertain health situation in Europe, Morocco’s biggest trading partner.

Amid all these challenges, AMITH concluded, “the time has come for a revival” of the Moroccan textile industry. Learning from the health crisis, the industry must “reposition itself in the face of new global sourcing opportunities.”

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