'Need to strengthen apparel export industry'
Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has highlighted the need to strengthen the apparel export industry. Given its employment and export intensity, the apparel industry plays a significant role in country's economy, he said while inaugurating the 56th India International Garment Fair (IIGF) in New Delhi, according to a press release issued by Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).“Whenever I come to IIGF, I find more and more exporters are participating with large number of reputed overseas buyers. The Ministry of Textiles will continue providing support for organization of India International Garment Fair, as this industry provides large employment and earns precious foreign exchange for the country,” Gangwar said.The minister said several new initiatives have been undertaken by the central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make development participative and inclusive, in line with the core governance philosophy of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas'. The Textiles Ministry has initiated several measures for promotion of the textiles industry in general and in assisting the youth, women and disadvantaged segments of the society in particular, Gangwar said.Ashok G Rajani, Chairman AEPC, pointed out that the garment export sector is currently worth about $17,000 million, having a world market share of barely 3.5 per cent. “Our industry has a potential to grow much faster and achieve double the exports in relatively short time. There is a need for employment linked incentive scheme for this sector. AEPC would work under the leadership of our Textiles Minister and Secretary (Textiles) for carving out a policy in this direction,” he added.Expressing the concerns of the garment export industry Rajani said, “Exporters are concerned with zero duty access in EU market by Vietnam. Vietnam exports are likely to grow faster due to implementation of zero duty from 2017. (India faces import duty of 9.6 per cent). The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement allows export opportunities in Vietnam to USA with a benefit of 17-30 per cent export duty relief. India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) are yet to be finalized, exporters are expecting faster conclusion of the talk so that they can compete with Bangladesh and Vietnam.” (SH)