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Technical textiles is the next sunrise industry, experts concur

May 01, 2014
Technical textiles is the next sunrise industry, experts concur

The inaugural session of Technotex 2014, the third international conference on technical textiles, highlighted the vision of the industry towards taking this sector to a new growth trajectory. Organised jointly by the Ministry of Textiles (MoT) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), key officials of MoT as well as the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka were present at the conference, which was attended by stakeholders - from both India and overseas.

Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman-Textiles and Technical Textiles Committee, FICCI, opened the session outlining the huge potential of the technical textiles sector, which is currently $13 billion in size. He expected the industry to grow at 20 per cent per annum in the next two years. With imports touching $5 billion, he stressed on the urgency for India to develop indigenous products to boost domestic growth. Highlighting the theme for this years conference, i.e., Accelerating technical textile usage and strengthening institutional buying, Jaipuria said that technical textiles had a major role to play in the overall growth of textile sector in India. He also mentioned that Technotex had grown in stature with countries participating from across the globe. This year the event saw two major delegations from Taiwan and more than 40 international companies. The event also witnessed a buyer-seller meet, a unique platform for foreign companies to network and actively engage with Indian companies in this rapidly growing market.

Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, threw light on the initiatives of the government focused around promotion of technical textiles in India. He said that this year Technotex aimed to build and enhance the investment environment for the technical textiles sector in the country.

He highlighted a few schemes, starting with the four centres of excellence that were raised to eight in the Technology Mission programme of 2010, along with encouraging entrepreneurs and start-ups to engage in this sector. The government aimed at strengthening research in this field, organising buyer-seller meets, providing a national policy framework and also promoting the agro-technical textiles in the northeastern states where two demonstration centres are already under way, to showcase the benefits and usage of technical textiles, especially natural fibres. To generate skilled manpower, the subject has also been made part of the curriculum in schools and colleges through the intervention of the Indian Textiles Association (ITA). Technotex aimed to provide a roadmap for the industry to explore the repository of technical textiles in India.

The representatives of the states of Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra, spoke on the different initiatives launched by their respective state governments to promote technical textiles.

Dr DA Venkatesh, Commissioner for Textiles Development and Director of Handlooms & Textiles, Government of Karnataka, spoke on Karnataka as an ideal investment destination for technical textiles as it provided a congenial industrial climate, had availability of infrastructure for investment especially the land bank, an investor-friendly textile policy, skilled labour and a special package for investors of technical textiles. He says, "Through Technotex, the government has given us a platform to discuss and negotiate an investment opportunity in the field of technical textiles, which is a prospering industry."

Kamal Dayani, Industries Commissioner, Government of Gujarat, gave an overview of the investment avenues in Gujarat for technical textiles. He said that while the potential of this industry and its application is huge, the consumption in comparison is minuscule, almost less than 2-3 per cent of the global pie. He said, "There is a need to relook at building some innovative products in this sector, which will drive up the demand an