India plans roadshows for promoting textile exports to new markets

Source: The Economic Times, Oct. 12, 2016

NEW DELHI: Plummeting textile exports have prompted India to look outside traditional markets and tap the ones being served by competitors such as China. The textiles ministry is planning to do aroadshows to promote Indian textiles in the new markets, officials said.

“We used to hold roadshows earlier and we want to approach new markets through these. We have identified Russia, South America and West Asia to boost exports,” said one of the officials, who did not wish to be named.

The plan to do roadshows abroad comes in the wake of a 3.3% decline in exports in 2015-16 to $40 billion from $41.4 billion in the previous year due to India losing its competitive edge to Bangladesh and Vietnam. Textiles sector is among the largest contributors to India’s exports, with a share of almost 11%. The US, European Union and parts of Asia are the main markets for Indian textile and apparel exports.

The government had in June announced a Rs 6,000-crore package for textiles and apparels sector to help it wrest a bigger share of the global market. Besides pushing exports, roadshows abroad will also benefit the domestic textile industry, which employs about 40 million workers and 60 million indirectly.

“Russia and West Asia are not our traditional markets but have been developing as important destinations in recent years. So, it is a good idea to promote our textiles there,” said textile expert DK Nair. “If the government is doing roadshows at its level for the entire industry, it is a first of its kind,” he said.

Nair said the government had held roadshows in India earlier while different export promotion councils promoted products internationally. Roadshows abroad may not translate into immediate exports, Nair said, but will create a market for Indian products in markets that have been served by China till now.

The textiles ministry, which has set a target of doubling textile exports in 10 years, plans to enter into bilateral agreements with Africa and Australia, along with working on a new textile policy to promote value addition

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