The determinants of textile and apparel export performance in Asian countries
Since the end of the 20th century, textile and apparel retailers from developed countries have started to source globally instead of manufacturing products domestically to reduce costs and become more competitive in textile and apparel markets. However, since global sourcing has extended organizations' supply chains on a worldwide scale, other factors, such as suppliers' capability lead time, logistics service, and trade barriers, should also be seriously considered. Therefore, it is important for buyers to determine the comparative advantages of supplier countries, and suppliers to understand the determinants of their export performance to become more competitive in the era of trade liberalization. The purpose of this study was to understand the emerging trends and determinants of Asian developing countries' textile and apparel export performances over the twelve years (2000-2011).
The research framework in this study was built on the theory of comparative advantages and global value chain framework. The main analysis was conducted in three stages: (1) analyzing the textile and apparel export performance among 11 Asian developing countries, (2) testing the hypothesized relationships between determinants and textile and apparel export performance using a vector auto-regressive (VAR) errors model approach, and (3) comparing the impact of determinants on textile and apparel export performance. SPSS 17.0 and SAS 9.3 were used to analyze secondary data sets collected from each country's available industry and government databases.
This study implied that textile and apparel manufacturing industry is a sunset industry in Asian developing countries. In addition, textile and apparel export performance can be influenced by economic levels, immediate and short term impacts. This study also verified elimination of the quota system influence on Asian developing countries comparative advantages and leads to global textile and apparel industry under reconstruction.
This study demonstrated that low labor costs may be comparative advantages for Asian developing countries to attract buyer sourcing in Asian, but for a specific Asian developing country, low labor costs will not be the most crucial comparative advantage. Manufacturing competence is not a crucial determinant for textile and apparel export performance in Asian developing countries. Logistics performance has a closer relationship with textile and apparel export performance than lead time. Currency exchange rate has a different impact on textile and apparel export performances among Asian developing countries. Tariffs had a negative impact on textile and apparel export performance in Asian developing countries, especially after the elimination of the quota system.
This study makes an important step towards understanding the determinants of textile and apparel export performance, and aids in building a research model of determinants for textile and apparel export performance in Asian developing countries. The research provides a number of practical implications for both supplier countries and global sourcing managers in international trade.