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Germany

'Made In China' No Longer Go-To Textile Choice For Europe's Largest Market

DIE WELT(Germany)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - German clothes shoppers have started going for bright colors, after years of opting for safe gray or navy blue. So retailers – who were taken by surprise – had no choice but to act quickly to place large follow-up orders.

But according to the National Association Of German Textile Retailers (BTE), since so much of the stock now comes from China -- where surprise last-minute orders are difficult to accommodate -- stores were left in the cold.

Indeed, the brands that make their lines in Europe, says German fashion industry association German Fashion, were best positioned to respond to the colorful appetites.

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Photo: twicepix

China still remains by far the largest supplier-country, however – a third of imported German clothes come from there. But even though imports totaled 7.5 billion euros in 2012, that was nearly 10% less than in 2011, Die Welt reports.

And brands aren’t just switching to Europe but also to other Asian countries – mainly Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam. China doesn’t appear to be too disturbed by the trend. "Capacities there are getting tighter because there’s growing domestic demand, and also because the government is now encouraging a focus on high tech,” says Gerd Oliver Seidensticker, president of German Fashion.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Dnipro, A Heinous Attack Sparks Hard Questions About Weapon Supplies — On Both Sides

After Dnipro was left devastated by one of Russia’s deadliest attacks on Ukrainian civilians to date, the problem of arms delivery in a war that keeps escalating has never been more urgent.

Photo France's AMX-10 RC light tanks

France will be sending AMX-10 RC light tanks to Ukraine, but has not committed to heavy combat tanks.

Gouhier Nicolas/Abaca via ZUMA
Pierre Haski

The Russian missile that struck a residential building on Saturday afternoon in Dnipro killed at least 40 people, a number that keeps growing as bodies are discovered under the rubble in the central Ukrainian city. It appears to be a war crime with no legitimate target near the neighborhood.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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This bombing is also particularly informative about what’s happening right now on the Russian side of the war: The KH-22 cruise missile used is designed to sink an aircraft carrier, the biggest one in Moscow’s arsenal.

This precision missile was fired from an aircraft hundreds of miles away and has no link whatsoever to the target.

This enormous gap between the type of missile used and its ultimate target might actually reveal a missile scarcity in Russia, after weeks of continuous bombing in Ukraine. Tapping into strategic Russian weaponry (the KH-22 can be equipped with nuclear warheads) can never be justified considering the innocence of the target. Russian arms plants running at full capacity, for the time being at least, cannot keep up supplies.

But this tragic strike is also a clear sign of a progressive escalation in a war that, at this stage, shows no signs it can be stopped.

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