Amithabh Kant, CEO, Graces Oc­ca­sion

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The 40th year of Ap­parel Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (AEPC) was cel­e­brated at AEPC Head of­fice in Gur­gaon with Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog pre­sid­ing as the chief guest for the event and de­liv­ered the foun­da­tion day speech high­light­ing the im­por­tance of In­dian ap­parel sec­tor as a pivot for higher value ad­di­tion and em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion with very low cap­i­tal in­vest­ment. Born in 1978 as a quota mon­i­tor­ing en­tity, AEPC to­day is one of the largest coun­cils of the coun­try. It is recog­nised world­wide as a pow­er­ful body for the pro­mo­tion and fa­cil­i­ta­tion of gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing and ex­port from In­dia. Built as a spon­sored body un­der the Min­istry of Tex­tiles, it boasts of a strong membership base that ex­ceeds 8300 mem­bers.

Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog said, “China has started mov­ing out of the ap­parel sec­tor and there is a huge op­por­tu­nity for In­dia. To­day the wages in China are 2-3 times that of In­dia and given the ag­ing pop­u­la­tion of China, the cost of ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing will con­tinue to rise there. In such a sce­nario, the global sup­pli­ers will start look­ing at other av­enues for sourc­ing.” He men­tioned that coun­tries like Bangladesh and Viet­nam are hav­ing pref­er­en­tial ac­cess in Euro­pean mar­kets and hence it is ex­tremely im­por­tant that we get the FTA with Europe rat­i­fied at the ear­li­est.

He shared that cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tion is also one of the is­sues be­ing faced by the ap­parel in­dus­try and RBI and FM can ex­am­ine and see how cur­rency can be pushed for ex­ports. He ex­pressed that as far as In­dian ap­parel ex­ports are con­cerned, In­dia is heav­ily re­liant on cot­ton and thus the in­dus­try needs to see how we can move to man-made fi­bres which can help us to garner more global share. “There has been a re­duc­tion in the ben­e­fits of the In­dus­try post GST roll out and we are look­ing at ways through which we could bring it at par with the rates preva­lent in the pre­vi­ous regime,” he averred. “For the ben­e­fit of the In­dus­try cen­tral and state levies should be re­funded and Gov­ern­ment will work with the in­dus­try to re­solve this is­sue,” added Kant.

He has also men­tioned that at the im­me­di­ate phase to cre­ate pos­i­tive signs it is im­por­tant to re­solve the is­sues viz. blocked taxes and re­fund of GST, and ex­change rate re­lated con­cerns to bring back the ap­parel ex­port and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor in a growth path from con­sis­tent de­cline trends.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion HKL Magu, Chair­man, AEPC said, “AEPC’S well-timed ini­tia­tives and con­fi­dence to take cal­cu­lated risks, brav­ing all odds, per­cep­ti­ble across all cir­cum­stances, is the key fuel for the In­dia’s ap­parel ex­port growth. At the UP In­vestor’s sum­mit we have signed a MOU with UP Gov­ern­ment to con­struct an ap­parel city in 200 acres on

Ya­muna Ex­press­way. With AEPC’S ca­pa­bil­ity and ini­tia­tives, and con­tin­ued un­der­stand­ing and sup­port of the Gov­ern­ment, In­dia’s ap­parel ex­ports are sure to grow from strength to strength while pro­vid­ing in­ter­na­tional buy­ers with most su­pe­rior so­lu­tions in fash­ion and ap­parel”.

Clos­ing re­marks and vote of thanks was given by Sud­hir Sekhri, Chair­man, Ex­port Pro­mo­tion,

AEPC who thanked Amitabh Kant for his sup­port and en­cour­age­ment to the ap­parel in­dus­try. “The in­dus­try is a source of em­ploy­ment for mil­lions of men, women and chil­dren di­rectly or in­di­rectly as­so­ci­ated with us and will die a slow death of if the Gov­ern­ment would not sup­port it,” said Sekhri. The event was at­tended by many ap­parel ex­porters like Vi­jay Ag­gar­wal, from Creative Gar­ments, An­imesh Sax­ena from Nee­tee Cloth­ing, Naren­dra Goenka from Tex­port Syn­di­cate, Pre­mal Udani and sev­eral oth­ers.

HKL Magu Chair­man wel­comes Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog

Amitabh Kant light­ing lamps at the cer­e­mony

Coun­tries like Bangladesh and Viet­nam are hav­ing pref­er­en­tial ac­cess in Euro­pean mar­kets and hence it is ex­tremely im­por­tant that we get the FTA with Europe rat­i­fied at the ear­li­est. amitabh Kant ceo, niti aayog

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