The entry of the Uztexstileprom Association into the International Federation of the Textile Industry (ITMF) allowed the textile industry of Uzbekistan to achieve great success in almost 10 years of membership in this organization. This is what ITMF CEO Christian SCHINDLER shared with our magazine in his interview.
– Uztextileprom Association has been a member of IITMF since 2014. In your opinion, what fundamental changes have taken place in Uzbekistan’s textile industry during this period that contribute to the country’s emergence as a textile hub of Central Asia?
– The change that the Uzbek textile value chain has undergone is extraordinary. Uzbekistan has evolved in a very short time span from a country that has exported the vast majority of its cotton to a country that is consuming nowadays almost all its cotton. In the future Uzbekistan will very likely become a cotton importing country.
– Next year ITMF celebrates the 120th anniversary of its establishment, at the same time Uzbekistan’s textile and garment and knitwear industry has also crossed its century mark just as an industry. To what extent does it meet today’s global strategies, criteria and standards?
– In 2024 ITMF will celebrate the 120th anniversary. The global textile and garment industry have undergone enormous change since ITMF’s founding year in 1904. At the time of its foundation cotton was the dominant fiber. After the advent of man-made fibers in the 1930s and especially of polyester, the world’s textile industry expanded both in diversity and volume. Nowadays, polyester is the most important fiber, especially polyester filament. Nevertheless, cotton remains a very important short-staple fiber. Uzbekistan’s textile value chain is supplying mainly cotton-based products. To be able to offer a broader range of products for customers around the world the Uzbek textile value chain is investing in new machinery and processes. Already today the Uzbek textile industry is meeting most relevant criteria and standards that allow them to supply brands and retailers around the world. The challenge for the Uzbek textile industry as a newcomer is to create awareness about its capabilities and to build trust in its reliability. This needs a certain period of time. By engaging in international platforms like ITMF the Uzbek textile industry will meet its peers from other countries, will learn about important trends and how to react to them and will be able to identify partners for cooperation with international partners.
– For the last 5-year Uzbekistan Textile has been faced a lot of changes. We observed how the international organizations like ILO, UNECE, IFC, BCI, World Bank etc. start their active policy in Uzbekistan. How do you feel this changes in international area, how this effect to international textile trade?
– In a very short period of time the Uzbek textile industry was transformed to an international competitive and producer and acceptable supplier. This was only possible by engaging with these international governmental organizations. Now Uzbekistan is a recognized supplier and will be able to supply to customers around the world, especially to international brands and retailers. Without this opening up and engagement this would not have been possible.
– Which are the main challenges for Uzbek textile to enter to the global supply chain and hold a good position?