Vice President Tajani met with representatives of the fashion and high-end industries this week in Paris to discuss the main obstacles that these sectors are facing and ways to overcome them.
If industry is the foundation of the European economy, then fashion is one of its most important building blocks. Supporting more than 850 000 companies and 5 million jobs, it accounts for 3 % of the EU's GDP. Furthermore, Europe's high-end products, account for 10 % of total EU exports and provide one million direct jobs. Bolstering long-term competitiveness of the fashion and high-end industries is important for overall economic recovery in Europe and this is why this sector has been very high on the agenda of European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani i, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship.
This week the Vice President met with high-level representatives of the fashion and high-end industries in Paris to talk about the main challenges that this industry is currently facing and ways to overcome them. The main topics were the importance of strengthening EU industrial policy; the protection of intellectual property rights and the fight against counterfeit products; and ways to improve access to finance for fashion SMEs. More importantly, the meetings prepared the groundwork for the conference in London on December 3rd, where an action plan to kick-start these sectors will be adopted.
The main participants of the Paris meetings
The high-level meeting in Paris was split into two sessions. On the evening of November 6th, VP Tajani met main trade associations representing the fashion industry, including Union Française des Industries de l’Habillement, Union des Industries Textiles, Fédération Française de la Chaussure, Union des Fabricants and Institut Français de la Mode. On November 7th, he met Comité Colbert, a trade association which consists of the most prestigious French luxury brands (see photo).
Background information: The countdown to London
Several high-level fashion meetings this year - in Madrid, Milan and this week in Paris - were all in preparation for the conference in London which will take place on December 3rd. The goal of the London conference will be to endorse an action plan for fashion and high-end industries to help them flourish and continue contributing to EU growth and employment. The action plan will be the follow-up of the two Staff Working Documents that the Commission published in September 2012: one on the fashion industry and another one on the high-end industry.
Photo courtesy of: Comite Colbert