From Fasonismo to Excellence: The Industrial Transformation of Albania in the Textile Sector




Cotonella's withdrawal from Albania after 27 years of operations prompts a thoughtful reflection on the dynamics of the textile sector in this Balkan country. In assessing the reasons behind this decision and future prospects, challenges and opportunities emerge that deserve in-depth analysis and a cohesive approach to enable positive transformation.

The volatility of the Euro/Lek exchange rate and rising wages have contributed to the context that led to downsizing choices by companies such as Cotonella. However, it is crucial to consider these challenges as stimuli for updating and restructuring the Albanian textile sector. Far from being merely an economic upheaval, this moment can be seen as a turning point for the strengthening and modernization of the local textile industry.

In the past, Albania attracted basic productions by exploiting the advantage of low labor costs and good availability of workforce. The transition now requires a gradual shift towards higher value productions, which implies a more skilled workforce and greater operational efficiency. This change requires joint commitment from authorities, businesses, and the academic community.

A central element of this transformation is targeted investment in education and vocational training. The establishment of specialized institutes in the textile industry can act as a catalyst for the development of advanced skills. These centers would not only attract new talents but also contribute to raising the standard of skills in the sector, creating a highly qualified workforce ready to support the production of high-quality items.

A pragmatic approach to the issue of wages is essential to ensure that the transformation is sustainable over time. Promoting competitive wages not only attracts talent but also creates a work environment focused on growth and professional development. This, in turn, can act as a driving force for more resilient and lasting economic growth.

In conclusion, Cotonella's withdrawal represents a challenge but also an opportunity for Albania to redefine its role in the textile industry. Through wise management of economic variables, targeted investments in education, and a thoughtful wage strategy, the country can emerge from this transition period not only strengthened but also positioned to attract investments and thrive in the international textile industry.