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Competitiveness of the Hong Kong Apparel Industry: From Manufacturer to Fashion Hub

  • ID: 42914
  • September 2003
  • Region: Hong Kong
  • 24 Pages
  • Textiles Intelligence
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The Hong Kong apparel industry has been transformed since its early days as a cut, make and trim (CMT) manufacturer of garments. Rising costs have made manufacturing in the territory increasingly uncompetitive.

Domestic production has declined as Hong Kong firms have relocated manufacturing operations to mainland China in an attempt to remain competitive.

Nonetheless, Hong Kong has maintained its role as a supplier of quality, branded fashion collections and as a regional sourcing hub, taking advantage of its international network and accumulated skills.

One remaining weakness, however, lies in its ability to generate original design. Such ability is important to Hong Kong’s development as a fashion hub—which, in turn, is seen as being vital to the territory’s ability to compete in 2005 and beyond when quotas on international trade are finally eliminated. But investment in product development is limited and recognition of local design talent is scant.

Furthermore, an emphasis on cost reduction has hindered the cultivation of resources and an environment for creative work.

However, Hong Kong also has a number of strengths which would favour its development into a fashion hub. Many international companies have maintained a regional base in Hong Kong, taking advantage of the territory’s well-established business infrastructure and a proficiency in English, which facilitates corporate communications. Moreover, the industry itself has strong managerial skills, and is experienced in international trade and supply chain coordination.

Increasingly, it is also adopting advanced manufacturing and information technology which is seen as essential to future competitiveness.

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Summary
Introduction
The Changing Role of Hong Kong's Textile and Clothing Industry
Falling competitiveness
Shift towards value addition
Development of Hong Kong as a Fashion Centre
Growth of Hong Kong as a "fashion hub"
Essential components of the fashion industry
Strengths and Weaknesses of Hong Kong as a Fashion Centre
Strengths: Products and services
Sourcing and material supply
Export business relationships
Design and marketing capability
Technology applications
Human resources, and social values and attitudes
Social and economic infrastructure
Inward investment
Role of the Hong Kong government and industry support bodies
Weaknesses: Products and services
Sourcing and material supply
Operating costs
Design and marketing capability
Technology applications
Social and economic infrastructure
Role of the Hong Kong government and industry support bodies
Opportunities: The potential offered by mainland China
Sociological environment and changes in buyer behaviour
Threats: Economic environment
Regulatory environment
Technological environment
Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
SO strategy
WO strategy
ST strategy
WT strategy
Outlook

List of tables

Table 1: Hong Kong: structure of the clothing industry, March 2003
Table 2: Hong Kong: 30 leading destinations for domestic exports of clothing and clothing
accessories, 1999-2002

List of figures

Figure 1: Hong Kong: trends in textile and clothing exports, 1990-2001
Figure 2: Hong Kong: trends in textile and clothing production, 1982-2003

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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