With models already tested, approved and production lines put in place, the Portuguese textile and clothing industry wants to supply the whole European market and thus return to economic activity. The availability was already reported to the European Union, via Euratex – the European Apparel and Textile Confederation.
As a member of the board at Euratex, the President of ATP – Associação têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal, Mário Jorge Machado, explains what “is, deep down, the permission to export a product that, having been certified in Portugal, will be accepted by other countries”.
With manufacturing regulations in place, and the process of certification and guarantee by CITEVE in full force, the Portuguese industry is already fulfilling the demand of the internal market in this field. Though “the Portuguese market is one thing, with its 10 million inhabitants; another thing altogether is the European market and its 500 million inhabitants”, underlines the president of ATP.
Therefore, he argues, this can be a prosperous deal, and that the Portuguese textile industry must establish itself as a cluster on this subject. In the short-term, exporting masks stands as a decisive move to end social confinement and to enable a return to work, “decisive to save the European economy”, allowing Europe to terminate the hazardous dependency of health equipment imports from Asia, mostly from China.