BRUSSELS – EURATEX, the EU textile trade body, has launched a new initiative aimed at facilitating cooperation between European and Ukrainian textile and apparel companies. The EU-Ukraine Textile Initiative (EUTI) aims to offer a single contact point for Ukrainian companies who seek support and cooperation with EU counterparts, and vice versa. That connection will be helpful to match supply and demand – for fabric supplies, for instance – engage in public procurement, and offer company-to-company support.
The service will be coordinated by EURATEX in close cooperation with UKRLEGPROM, the Ukrainian Association of enterprises of the textile & leather industries. Olena Garkusha, an experienced manager from the Ukrainian textile industry and now based in Brussels, will act as contact point
EU exports to Ukraine reached €1.3bn in 2021 (13th market), whereas imports from Ukraine reached €500m (21st place). There is said to be the potential to expand that relationship, both in the short term (to respond to urgent needs, e.g. in military and medical fabrics) but also in the longer run. It is believed that as partner in the PEM Convention, Ukraine can play an important role in Europe’s textile and apparel supply chain. The proposed suspension of tariffs on imported products from Ukraine by the EU will offer further opportunities.
EURATEX director general Dirk Vantyghem commented: “Supporting the textile industry is our way to help the people of Ukraine. We encourage our European members to connect via EUTI and develop sustainable partnerships.”
Tetyana Izovit, resident-chief of the board of UKRLEGPROM welcomed the initiative: “Today, we have many textile and apparel companies in Ukraine with expertise and skilled workers; they are able and willing to work with EU, but lack the contacts, customers and supplies. EUTI will help them.”