Portugal has today 6000 vacancies in the textile sector. The association, which brings together almost all companies in the sector, stated that one of the solutions would be to receive migrants, because of the lack of manpower prevents today the sector develop.
Alberto Rocha, general secretary of Cointega, the Confederation of textile industries of Galicia notes that, “The collaboration with Portugal has been one of the competitive advantages of Galicia,” Also, “and I think that at the same time, Galicia was also an advantage for Portugal, and we are completed. We walk side-by-side for many years, and each of us specializes in what we can do better”.
“In recent years, or even decades,” notes Paulo Vaz, director general of the Portuguese association of textile and clothing, “Spain has chosen to develop economic models are completely different in this sector, based on the brands, the retail trade and models with high added value. Portugal did not follow this path and has focused on the tradition and the know-how that it had already been consolidated and that it has improved. It has invested heavily in the research and technological innovation, which is extremely interesting, because it has created a complementarity between the two countries.”
“Until now, the relationship has always advanced in developing the complementary”, said Alberto Rocha, “and I am convinced that at this time, there is a turning point that begins and a second track that opens with other levels of competence. In Portugal, many companies, which have already reached a certain critical mass and are very well developed, are developing activities, which are those of their current customers, which will encourage others to do the same. And a new reality may emerge in a few years”.
It is a cooperation distinctive in its kind, in the textile industry. To the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, a cross-border cluster enables companies from Spanish and Portuguese to work hand in hand, while Portugal is the largest supplier of heavyweights in the Spanish fashion, based in Galicia.