Textile exports may touch $38 bn this fiscal

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 06, 2012

New Delhi: India is looking to set textile export target at $38 billion this fiscal, 12 per cent higher the previous year, despite slowdown in the Western markets as the country opens new avenues for shipments.

“Though there is economic uncertainty in the US and Europe, growing demand in new markets like Latin America and Africa will help India’s textile exports.

“We are setting a target of $38 billion for this fiscal,” a senior Textiles Ministry official said.

The US and European markets account for over 50 per cent of the country’s exports and are facing economic slowdown.

Textile exports was about $34 billion in 2011-12, as against $26.8 billion in 2010-11.

Experts said, meanwhile, that there is a need to focus on ways to boost textile shipments.

India’s textile export performance has continued to lag its global competitors in the last few years. It has a meagre 4.3 per cent share of the world market, compared to China’s 28.3 per cent.

“We need to focus on new markets like Latin America and Africa. Huge demand is there. We hope that our textile exports would touch $38 billion this fiscal,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Mr Rafeeq Ahmed said.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Mr A Sakthivel said the combined effort of the government and exporters to explore new markets would “give better fruits” this fiscal.

“The Indian apparel industry is facing several challenges like labour, safety and health compliances in the global market. There is a need to focus on those issues to increase our competitiveness in the global market,” Mr Sakthivel added.

The Economic Survey 2011-12 too has said that India needs to diversify its export markets as its trading partners may resort to protectionist measures in the wake of global economic uncertainty.

According to estimates, the share of textiles and clothing as a percentage of the country’s overall export basket decreased from 15.97 per cent in 2004-05 to 8.9 per cent in 2010-11.

The sector, which is the country’s second largest employment generator after agriculture, employing 35 million people, was hit hard by the global economic slowdown.



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