The textile-apparel industry in Argentina in the 21st Century

The textile industry stands as a venerable cornerstone of national manufacturing, with its roots dating back to the early 20th century when it played a pivotal role in import substitution industrialization. Despite its somewhat erratic trajectory, the industry remains significant, accounting for 1.5% of total employment and providing jobs for over 500,000 people nationwide.

Unlike many other countries, Argentina has local production throughout almost the entire value chain. This includes primary links such as cotton, sheep, and camelid fiber production, as well as industrial links involved in creating yarns, fabrics, and garments. The majority of the output is directed towards the domestic market.

This series of documents delves into the productive nuances of each link within the textile-industrial chain, from manufacturing to marketing. It describes the productive units responsible for each activity, shedding light on the extensive employment opportunities they generate. The goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of affairs and a strategic roadmap for future progress. It outlines the industry’s primary challenges, from improving the precarious employment conditions, through establishing more equitable pricing structures, and enhancing overall productivity, in an attempt to create consensus on the potential role of public policies in shaping the industry’s future in Argentina.