The EU textile and clothing sector is one of the two biggest players in the world market. It represents 29% of the world exports, not including trade between EU Member countries, after China which occupies the first place with 40% of world exports. The textile and clothing industry is a very global industry, with constantly increasing trade flows all over the world.
The increasing importance of the markets in emerging economies together with the development of new uses and applications for textile fibres and products in many different areas such as aerospace, medicine, construction and architecture, automobile, transports, personal protection, show the need for solid steps on a better access to third country markets.
Further to tariff barriers, technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures may be obstacles to trade development. The Commission carries out bilateral dialogues in industrial policy and related regulatory issues with third countries in order to facilitate industrial and trade relation.
The textile and clothing (T&C) industrial policy dialogue with the Euro-Mediterranean region is particularly important. This region has a strategic role as a means to keep at geographic proximity the entire textile and clothing production chain.