TEXTILE INDUSTRY IS DEVELOPING
A new greenfield investment in the Bulgarian textile industry has been made by the British company Coats - a world leader in the manufacture of threads. On October 8 production premises will be opened in Sofia (Tsarigradsko Shousse blvd.), together with an administrative building and warehouses. The investment is worth USD3MN, and by the year-end the British company intends to invest another USD1MN in the expansion of the production facilities. The new enterprise will be manufacturing industrial sewing threads and will employ 69 workers. The entire range of polyester threads, which the company produces in 66 countries, will be made in Bulgaria as well. The works' daily output will be about 350 kg of threads.Coats is well-known to many Bulgarian producers of ready-made clothes, footware, furniture, leather articles, suitcases and bags, who will redirect their orders to the new Sofia-based enterprise. Coats' 2002 sales in Bulgaria ammounted to USD3MN. The company's turnover on the international market is EUR1.8BN (22% share).
The London-based company has been having a trade representation in Bulgaria since 1993. It set up an enterprise in this country back in 1931 - the textile company Bulgaria - K in the town of Kazanluk. However, after the nationalization in 1947 Coats lost control over it. During its privatization in 1997 the British company has already lost interest in the enterprise and it was sold to Bulgaria Tex.An analysis of the Ministry of Economy shows that textile and tailoring enterprises are among the main employers in this country. Some 174,000 people were employed in the branch in 2002. 5,873 enterprises were operating in that sector last year, and 3,892 firms were producing textiles in 2000. Sales proceeds in the branch ensure 8.63% of the processing industry's incomes. In 2002 the turnover of textile companies amounted to USD243MN, the bulk of which (USD224MN) came from export.