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USAID Supports Albania's Garment Industry

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We started our operations in 1993 in a rented warehouse. We started with just 40 workers manufacturing casual shirts. This is the type of shirt we have historically made. Soon we started to grow and increased to 120 workers and expanded our operations. We have had some ups and downs and the volume of work hasn't always been stable. To be able to produce more classical shirts we needed to work harder and it required technology, and we made huge investments and hired foreign technicians to train our workers. We did it! Today we deliver to the best shirt companies in Italy. Our main market is Italy, but our clients have markets in other countries like Spain, England, Dubai. almost everywhere! My name is Ermira Shehi. I am a professor at the Textile and Fashion Department at the Polytechnic University of Tirana. Two or three months ago I was invited by Rritje Albania - a USAID project - to work as a local consultant. Almost 90 percent of garment and footwear companies produce for foreign markets and companies. The main problem that they encounter is that they lack training in manufacturing processes and to be able to complete a full cycle of production. Consultantcy, expertise, and qualified specialists in the field are necessary at this phase for companies to be able to meet the growing needs of foreign and domestic markets. My name is Roland Bagavici and I work for the project Rritje Albania - a USAID project - as a business consultant. Our work is to increase a company's efficiency to get a better price, to increase quantities produced, and to also increase productivity at the firm level. Albania has a competitive advantage of being able to work with short turnaround times. and to be able to deliver products quickly to nearby European markets. This is an advantage that Albanian manufacturers use very well and they should be competitive. In the third year of our project we aim to help a group of companies in this sector to be able to complete the full cycle of production. We are mainly speaking for cutting and finding raw materials. Companies need to secure financial resources and begin designing products. All are capacities most companies have not yet developed. We work with companies to develop these capacities who will be able to develop these links and find buyers - which is the final link of the production cycle. Developing the capacity for full-cycle production is important because it will bring greater sophistication to the market, help companies enter the local market, raise incomes for workers, and strengthen the contribution of this sector to Albania's overall economy. I was lucky to meet USAID's staff and the professor whom I met during a seminar in Durres. I invited them to visit the factory. They came and were ready to help me. At the time, I was very desperate for help because it was a period when I had changed products, clients, and models and we were having many defects. With the help of John, Roland, and Ermira, we have made progress and the number of defects which were extremely high, have been reduced to only two percent. An extraordinary work has been done! And I would like to thank them, since I have this opportunity here, as I am very, very happy.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: United States
Language: Albanian
License: All rights reserved
Producer: USAID/Albania
Director: Stephanie Pepi, USAID/Albania
Views: 123
Posted by: spepi on Apr 5, 2011

USAID is helping Albanian garment factories to increase productivity and become more competitive in domestic and foreign markets. This video describes one aspect of the assistance USAID is providing to a company in Durres, Albania, "Anisa & Noemi."

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