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The Southern India Mills’ Association

Committed to Foster the Growth of the Textile Industry

Trade frameworks hurt India’s garment sector: Biz bosses

India needs to rework its trade treaties with countries and blocks of countries to encourage garment sector in the country, industry players said in a document that will be submitted to Gujarat government. Other major areas that need to be worked upon include change in traditional mindset leading to a nimble approach in the adaptation of new practices, creating economies of scale, inviting foreign investment and focus of research and development. “We need to rethink our trade agreements. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with European Union is not working for us and the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) is hurting us,” said Meena Kaviya, chairperson of Textile Committee of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), while giving highlights of the white paper prepared during the ‘Farm To Fashion’ expo in the city of Saturday. What she meant was that in spite of FTA with EU, Indian exports are not rising in the region. On the other hand, Indian import from countries like Bangladesh is rising and eating into the share of local because of SAFTA.
The expo aimed to create end-to-end value chain in the textile sector in Gujarat, which is the largest producer of cotton and man-made fibres. Low-value products like cotton and fabrics are being exported from the state while high-value products like apparels are being imported in the state. State government and industry players want to create entire value chain in Gujarat to create more jobs.
At present, Ahmedabad and Surat are major centres for producing cotton and man-made fibres and fabrics, aimed predominantly at low-value domestic market. The other major areas to improve upon include availability of skilled workforce and creating economies of scale to create competitive products, change in mindset and adopt new practices for sustained growth. Processing is another segment where huge capacities need to be generated and quality improved. Players should also focus on R&D,” said Kaviya.
Farm To Fashion wit-ness Rs 400 crore biz in two days:
The Farm To Fashion expo that begun in Ahmedabad on Friday witnessed a business of Rs400 crore in two days, GCCI president Shailesh Patwari said on Saturday. We are elated with the response we got from the expo. The state government has also promised us all the help to promote garment sector in the state,” said Patwari. Close to 1,380 buyers from India and abroad participated in expo.