ITF initiative, Report on Competition Analysis and Way Forward for FTAs
Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with core markets is a long pending demand of the apparel exporters in the country and various associations are putting their efforts for the same. The Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF), a leading textile entrepreneurs’ association has come forward with a report on Competition Analysis and Way Forward for FTAs. ITF recently organised an event in Coimbatore to put forth this report. Keshav Chandra, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Aditi Das Rout, Trade Advisor, Union Ministry of Textiles were the chief guests and guest of honour at the event, respectively.
International trade firm, GNBC, Mumbai helped in creating the report, that marked out various challenges and obstacles faced by the export sector and the way to move forward. ITF elaborated that India’s exports of clothing and textile declined significantly last year. The association urged the Government and stakeholders to seriously look into this downfall. The decline was due to different known and unknown reasons like infrastructure, high transaction costs and others. It is important to mention here that the nation’s export of clothing and textile covered by chapters 61, 62 and 63 witnessed a dip of 23.21 per cent, 31.64 per cent and 18.99 per cent, respectively during the previous year. There are various FTAs across the world, due to which FTA member countries enjoy tariff advantages and not everyone is aware of this fact, which is why a study was undertaken to understand where the country’s textile and clothing industry faces difficulties and how this can be overcome. The ITF report also mentioned the non-tariff barriers employed in this sector and its impact on the trade. Reportedly, the contribution of the top 20 exporting countries is over 85 per cent of the entire World Exports. Though India finds a place in the top 10 of the same, its contribution is less compared to its neighbouring countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh. The major contributors and India’s competitors are China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan and Turkey. Bangladesh and Cambodia, being LDCs (Less Developed Countries) have tariff advantage in Developed and Developing countries due to Duty-Free-QuotaFree Treatment provided to them. It is also being reported that India has tariff disadvantage ranging in between 1 per cent to 40 per cent in almost all top importing countries such as US, EU, Canada, China, Australia, Switzerland, GCC Countries, Israel and Chile.
Keshav Chandra (fourth from left), Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Aditi Das Rout (third from right), Trade Advisor, Union Ministry of Textiles along with ITF team, releasing the report