NEW YORK — China isn’t the only country poised to gain market share in apparel manufacturing in 2005. India, the world’s second-most populous nation, also has tremendous growth potential, thanks to its large workforce and relatively low wages, as well as a hefty supply of cotton.

This story first appeared in the May 20, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

As sourcing managers prepare to consolidate manufacturing into a smaller group of strategic locations when quotas are lifted, industry observers and political leaders are pondering what will happen to the economies of small developing nations if they lose the jobs generated by the apparel business.

Another factor keeping sourcing specialists awake at night is the outbreak of SARS in China and several other key Asian manufacturing nations. So far, SARS has only been an inconvenience to major companies, forcing them to find ways of working with Asian suppliers without traveling there. But they are concerned that the disease, which appears to have started in the key manufacturing center of Guangzhou, could lead to closed factories if it continues to spread.