The apparel industry in the post‐Multifiber Arrangement environment: A review
The apparel industry contributes significantly to the economic development of many developing countries. Between 1974 and 2004, the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) heavily regulated this industry. Since the total abolition of the MFA in 2005, competition in apparel trade has increased many folds and some developing countries, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam, have been successful while some others, such as Mexico and the Philippines, are struggling to meet this challenge. This study presents a historical evolution of the apparel industry before and after the introduction of MFA and analyzes the factors that enhance apparel export performance during the post‐MFA period. The analysis reveals that cheap labor, firm size, product quality, foreign ownership, availability of local input materials, new product development, preferential market access and working conditions are the major factors that help gaining competitiveness in apparel exports during the post‐MFA period. These observations provide new insights to the policy makers and business managers to formulate and implement appropriate policies in order to become competitive in apparel exports.
Citation:Alam, M.S., Selvanathan, E. A., Selvanathan, S. and Hossain, M. (2018) The apparel industry in the post‐Multifiber Arrangement environment: A review. Review of Development Economics,