Producing Abroad While Making Profits at Home: Veneto Footwear and Clothing Industry
27 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2008
Date Written: December 2007
Over the last twenty years globalisation has brought about a sharp increase in the real and financial integration of the worldwide economy. In this closely knit context, the outsourcing of some of the productive and trade activities abroad has become one of the focal points of the policies followed by businesses in order to handle competition at worldwide level. In the 80s Italian clothing and footwear firms faced the increased competition in the international markets by outsourcing to domestic subcontractors and in the 90s transferred much of the previous outsourcing abroad, in countries with low labour costs, mainly in Eastern Europe, North Africa and East Asia. This paper is aimed to assess the impact of the offshoring strategy on firms. performance. It is based on a survey delivered to a group of 70 final producers, operating in the Veneto, that during the 90s began to manage production on a global scale. Direct investments, subcontracting and partnerships that materialize in product manufacturing abroad are considered as forms of international outsourcing. On this basis, by combining direct observations with balance sheets data, and data on employment stock at the firm's level, the impact of the offshoring decision is evaluated. The study shows the importance of production management along the global value chain in giving new competitivity to the Veneto traditional sector.
Keywords: production organization, global value chains, fragmentation, internationalization, clothing industry, Italy
JEL Classification: F23, L23, L67
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation