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Textiles

The textile industry in Russia has an ethical tradition and commands respect in the global market. Though the Russian textile industry faced challenges in the nineties, it is now emerging as a competitive industry capable of foreign investment. Ivanovo city is rich in the production of cotton textiles. The region is a potential market for foreign investment. The Ivanovo city has an enormous workforce of 50,000 people in the textile industry. It satisfies nearly 25% of the regional budget.

Russia faced a setback in 1998 as import prices rose by almost 300%. However, this carved a niche for the domestic textile manufacturers. Domestic production in textiles grew heavily by 20% in 1999 and by 15% in 2000. Today, there are around 400 textile factories in the Ivanovo city and nearly 200 around Moscow. No wonder Ivanovo is called the “land of printed cotton” and “the Russian Manchester”.

The textile factories in Ivanovo city produce chintz cotton fabrics, which grace casual dresses, upholstery and inner garments. Russia has directed investment funds into the textile industry in the Ivanovo region to attract foreign investors. President Medvedev has announced the set up of business parks and other regional programs for the same.

Despite several domestic textile factories, there is a growing demand for textiles in the Russian market. Though Asian countries such as China and Korea are trying to grab a market share of the textile industry, the domestic manufacturers have been slightly bullish. At present, the textile industry has 3000 enterprises. However, several major companies are affirmative on prospects in the textile industry in Russia. South Korea plans to invest heavily in textile production facilities in Russia. DuPont has also decided to establish 40 production companies in Russia.

The Russian textile industry had sales of $8 billion in the year 2006. To ward off competition from China, Turkey, India and Pakistan, the textile industry in the country has decided to rely on artificial fiber and chemical thread. To produce the necessary chemical threads, Russia has plotted to establish petrochemical and chemical fiber plants.

Foreign investment ranks second in the reform policies set by the Russian government. According to statistics in August 2002, investors from the US ploughed back US$1.5 million into the textile manufacturer from St. Petersburg, Pervomayskaya Zarya, which specializes in women’s clothing. The Russian Textile Alliance invested US$ 4 million in a cotton by-product processing plant in 2004. It also holds stakes in 24 textile producers in Russia.

The Ministry of Economics in Russia predicts that nearly 23 billion rubles is required to maintain textile production. There is a lot of pressure on the government to renovate textile production centers and enhance fabric quality to meet the growing demands of the Russian market. A.Biryukov, President of Roslegprom, which owns 400 enterprises in the light industry, believes that Russia could profit more by investing in the textile sector. Experts suggest that the time could not be any better for foreign investments in the textile sector in Russia.

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