EX­CLU­SIVE IN­TER­VIEW

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

Cargo Talk - - Contents - RATAN KR PAUL

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).

New Mar­kets

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.

prod­uct trends

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.

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