After witnessing a lull for quite some time, apparel exports touched US$1,240 million in June 2013-14. This was an increase of 12.13 per cent against the corresponding month of last financial year. Factory compliant manufacturing in India has surged with
Apparel export is bouncing back
Indian apparel exports in the last fiscal were down by six per cent amounting to US$12.9 billion. During the current fiscal year, exports have shown a robust growth of 10 per cent. “In the next 10 months of the current fiscal, exports would touch around US$16 billion, provided we keep growing at the same pace. An increase in the April-June month of FY 2013-14 is attributed India’s good performance in US & EU market. India’s exports to these markets increased by an average of 16 per cent. At the end of the current financial year, we are expecting a growth
Over 24 export promotion events are planned for FY 2013-14, including participating in seven international fairs, organising six overseas buyer seller meets, and 11 domestic export promotion events.”
A Sakthivel chairman, apparel export Promotion council (aePc)
of around 15-16 per cent, if other factors keep supporting the current rate of export growth. Accordingly, by the end of FY 2013-14, apparel export would be around of 95 per cent of the target. The Ministry of Commerce has given US$17 billion as apparel export target for 2013-14,” said A Sakthivel, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).
To achieve targets, Indian apparel exporters have targeted non-traditional markets like Chile, Uruguay, Columbia, Panama, Israel, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Croatia, Estonia and Japan. “We are channeling all our energy in making garment collection, fabric shows and BSM in India. Over 24 export promotion events are planned for FY 2013-14, including participating in seven international fairs, organising six overseas buyer seller meets, and 11 domestic export promotion events,” informed Sakthivel. Apart from organising the 51st India International Garment Fair in New Delhi, AEPC participated in several overseas events in July this year to strengthen its marketing initiatives. The major international events include Fatex Fair in Paris, France; Hong Kong Fashion Week and International Fashion Fair (IFF), Tokyo, Japan. In August, AEPC participated in the ‘Sourcing at Magic’, at Las Vegas, USA, and to be followed by other events in New York and Spain. According to him, the flow of expansion of orders in
India is expected to fetch additional US$3 billion in business. “India has been chosen as the best place, due to the persistent improvement in factory capacity building through ambitious programme—AEPC Common Code of Conduct – ‘DISHA’, an initiative of Ministry of Textiles,” he observed. Recently, the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India has approved AEPC as an independent agency for assessment and certification modules for non-MES courses under Component-II of Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS). AEPC has set a target of 4.84 lakh assessments. AEPC is now setting up office, manpower and infrastructure to assess 4.84 lakh workers within 12th Five Year Plan. The Government of India has already approved a proposal to set up about 100 SMART Centres to train over 40,000 youth and women in the next two years and 1.7 lakh over the next five years.
According to the AEPC Chairman, in view of the consumption pattern, it has been observed that until 2012-13, cotton-made products dominated the international market. Products like women’s suits, blouses, and men’s shirts, and cottonmade trousers were fairly good in demand in the Southern Africa, Latin American countries, Russia and some parts of Eastern Europe. It has also been found that pullovers, cardigans, women’s suits of synthetic and other textiles material, knit men’s shirts have gained higher share in the RMG export basket of India. This may be attributed to the changing demand pattern as synthetic and other textiles materials are more in demand in the western countries and other parts of the world. In Sakthivel’s opinion, global garment sourcing has undergone tremendous change during the last few years. Gradually, all buyers are getting extra cautious about meeting compliance standards. “We are fortunate that our factories are getting stronger in terms of compliance due to adoption of DISHA. We have successfully completed 200 factory level trainings and visits in 2013. In 2013-14 we are planning to cover 150 more units as to strengthen facilitators and experts for expanding our regional reach,” he added.
Need support from the government
The garment export industry was expecting a lowering of the interest rate, which has not been announced. The pre- and postshipment credit rates are hovering around 10 per cent, which is very high when compared to interest rates available to its competitors. It was the present Finance Minister’s initiative, through which he had given a separate chapter for interest rates in the export sector. The industry appeals to him for reintroduction of the separate rates of fixed 7.5 per cent for the labour-intensive sectors of clothing and textiles. “The rule of 24x7 custom clearances must be strictly followed, and there should not be unnecessary stopping of garment consignments at the ports. Our products are perishable and needs timely delivery to meet the buyers’ demand,” Sakthivel emphasised. However, Sakthivel maintained that measures like expansion of zero-duty EPCG scheme, extension of TUFs benefits to EPCG, announcements on promotion of incremental exports and winding the ambit of market and product focus scheme, and extension of interest subvention till March 2014, will help in promotion of garment exports from India.
An apparel production unit in Tirupur.