Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) claimed that the apparel exports from India will expand by about 40 per cent this fiscal.
“We are working with a target to achieve a 40 per cent increase in apparel exports this financial year with major focus on new medical textiles. This will take our total apparel exports up from USD 15.4 billion last fiscal to about USD 22 billion in 2020-21,” said Chairman Dr A Sakthivel while addressing the members at the 41st Annual General Meeting of the Council.
The chairman said that though Covid-19 is the most disruptive health crisis in modern human history, India and the world will achieve faster progress and new quality of development post Covid as “every adversity presents multiple new opportunities”.
Congratulating Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal for announcing India’s readiness to sign the initial limited trade package with America, Dr Sakthivel said the trading atmosphere in the US is looking good and there are positive sentiments for engaging with India as a reliable partner in the global value chain.
The chairman said that the council has already requested the government for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US and this initial limited trade package could be a precursor for the much desired bilateral FTA.
Besides, the AEPC has requested the government to thoroughly review all the existing trade pacts with the EU, UK, US, Australia and Canada to remove the disadvantages. FTA with USA, UK and EU along with CEPA with Australia and Canada can help double apparel exports in three years, he said.
Dr Sakthivel also thanked Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani for taking several bold and pragmatic initiatives to help the industry. Besides urging international buyers to do ‘Commerce with Compassion’ and honour their export orders, the Minister facilitated the Apparel Industry’s foray into production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) making India the second-largest producer of medical textiles within a short span of a few months since the outbreak of coronavirus.
While recognizing medical textiles as a new source of business for the Apparel Industry and forex earner for India, now that the government has lifted the export ban on many of the PPE items, the chairman exhorted the members to get into Man Made Fibre (MMF) based garments in a big way going by the global demand pattern.
“The need of the hour is to quickly engage in product diversification into MMF. We plan to sign MoUs with a number of MMF manufacturers, including Reliance Industries Ltd, to improve the sector. MMF is the key to increasing India’s textile exports to the global market,” Dr Sakthivel said, stressing on the need to improve design and processing.