The Moldovan industrial sector has developed along with the privatization and liberalization in trade, especially since 2005, when the quotas in textile and apparel trade were eliminated by the WTO (World Trade Organization).
TAFL manufacturing is an industry with long-standing traditions in Moldova, which started successfully developing after World War II and remains one of the most important industries in the country. Since 1990, it has been restructured, upgraded and re-equipped, in order to meet market economy demands. The industry has recorded a continuous growth since 2000, significantly outperforming the overall development of Moldova’s industry. Nowadays, the sector is vibrant and it is represented by approximately 450 enterprises.
Out of the total number of companies, 28 are classified as big companies, while the majority of them are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
They are active in producing:
- Textile manufacturing
- Apparel manufacturing
- Footwear manufacturing
- Leather, leather products, accessories
Currently, the TAFL industry plays an important role in the Moldovan economy, representing nearly 22 percent of the country’s total export volume, 82 percent of which is exported to the EU countries and the rest is being consumed in the domestic market. The export of TAFL increased by 10% in 2018 compared to the previous year, mainly due to the increase in exports of apparel.
The Government’s Industry Development Strategy lists the TAFL Sector as one of the key economic branches, given its significant advantages, such as:
- the possibility to engage a large number of employees into various branch activities;
- a relatively fast rotation cycle of current assets;
- moderate investment needs;
- a professional training system for employees in place.
Main export markets: Italy, Germany, Romania, Austria, France, USA, UK, Belgium, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Poland, Greece, as well as the CIS. Famous brands like Versace, Armani, Max & Co., NafNaf, Trussardi, Primark, Max Mara, Prada, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana, Moncler, Calvin Klein produce their clothes in Moldova.
The TAFL sector employs more than 26,000 people, which represents 4 percent of the whole economy. Most of these jobs are ruralbased and occupied by women (82%).
TAFL companies represent around 11% out of the total number of enterprises in the Moldovan industry. In 2018, the most significant increases in volume production in the TAFL sector were generated by Leather products (+17%) and Textiles (+5%).