Trade agreements and active dialogue can be game changer for exports

Trade agreements and active dialogue can be game changer for exports

Premier Export Corporation is a vertically integrated organisation proficiently engaged in the production and export of fashionable garments for men, women and kids. Incorporated in the year 1998, the company has carved a niche in the global textile industry by offering exclusive print and embroidery designs for all age groups. The corporation has state-of-the-art infrastructural setup comprising advanced machines to carry various activities such as washing, dying, stitching, knitting, printing, embroidery, finishing etc. R Senthil Kumar, CEO of Premier Export Corporation, provides insight into the developing Indian export market and the challenges that must be addressed for the country to become the world leader in the textile sector.

What is the current status of Indian textile industry (domestic as well as export markets)?

The current status of the Indian textile industry looks buoyant despite few setbacks like COVID disruptions which was followed by the sudden hike in raw material prices. Also the Russia Ukraine war has also temporarily halted the expected levels of growth.

We are in many ways bound to grow as we are the largest cotton growing nation in the world and we provide a solid alternative to other competing nations. Our skilled manpower is on the rise and the potential to scale up also looks very promising to the industry. We are now adopting all the best practices of the industry. which is helping the growth.

What are our emerging export markets? What actions has the Indian government taken to increase exports to these markets?

Our export markets traditionally have been the western countries like the USA and many European nations such as the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain etc.

Now new markets are actively explored such as South American countries like Chile, Brazil etc in addition to the African markets. The trade agreements like CEPA with Australia and UAE are expected to boost trade and the active dialogue with UK and Europe for FTA seems to make good progress which will be a game changer for our export trade.

India is aiming for $100 billion for the textile industry, what are the challenges to achieving this?

Our industry also faces few challenges mainly the dearth of skilled manpower, high cost of finance, high cost of power and lack of scaling due to the nature of the Industry where main clusters are made up of MSME units. Such units are devoid of any R&D facilities.

Further, the MMF is still expensive in India due to higher tax rates and fewer suppliers of such fibres. We are yet to diversify to MMF sectors which contribute to the bulk of apparel being manufactured around the global markets at this point in time.  We at the moment are way behind our competitors in this segment.

Any government policies or schemes boosting the textile industry?

Both the central and state governments are doing their very best to promote the growth of the Textile industry. The textile park scheme offers a wide range of subsidies for buildings and common infrastructure for the member units.

Also we have a subsidy scheme like ATUF to encourage textile entrepreneurs to invest in new machinery. An interest subsidy of 3% is offered to export to reduce the finance cost to make us more competitive. We have a lot of skill development schemes for all the new labour forces entering the industry. .

Kindly cite few suggestions to increase the Indian textile exports…

We on behalf of the Tirupur Exporters association are seeking more assistance from the government on various fronts like upskilling the present labour force to increase the efficiency levels.

Also we have requested the state and central governments to detail all the housing subsidy schemes for textile labour which will be a very attractive proposition for all the stakeholders where the labourers will have a dignified living in communities. This will also result in a high increase of the new labour force into the segment. We fully understand their welfare is the industry’s priority and they form the backbone of the industry.

At the outset, I would like to extend our warm wishes on behalf of Tirupur exporters association to Indian Textile journal on the 133rd anniversary and we join in appreciating your long journey through the years in pioneering the media of the Indian Textile Industry.

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