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Eager to Double Textile Exports, Peru Looks to Asian Markets

The country of Peru has pledged to double its overall exports between July 2011 and July 2016, making growth in the textile and apparel sector–60% of Peru’s value-added exports–crucial. To that end, the Peruvian government has announced plans to double textile and apparel exports by 2017.

Over the next four years, more than $60 million will be invested in the industry–a sum funded by export agency PromPeru, Peru’s Production Ministry, and unnamed private investors. The money will largely be used to promote Peruvian designers abroad, sending them to worldwide trade shows, and helping to update local production and design platforms.

In the past five years, only $4 million has been allocated to designer promotion, but the investors believe there is an international market for Peru’s high-end pima cotton, vicuna, and alpaca wool.

Peru also hopes to broker free trade deals with Australia, Brazil, and Russia. Of the $2.2 billion in textiles, apparel, and footwear exported from Peru last year, 45% went to the U.S, 35% to Venezuela, and 15% was divided among Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Luis Torres Paz, PromPeru’s promotions director, told just-style that Peru is eager to expand “with great intensity” into China and Japan, noting that exports to Asia have been growing 15% a year.

Still, Torres warned that both Vietnam and Bangladesh are “highly competitive” and produce cashmere and cotton fabrics equal in quality to Peru’s. “We have to build stronger brands before we move to those markets,” he said, “or we could be displaced.”