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India on radar of Nepali clothing exporters
Aug '11
Exports of clothing from Nepal, which had been stagnant since the last few years in the absence of any quota have now started growing. However, it is the small producers and exporters who are tapping the demand for garments from the European Union.

Apparel exports to its biggest market; USA had plunged in the last few years due to various reasons, but mainly due to withdrawal of duty-free access, political instability and labour unrest.

However the European Union bloc has now become the biggest market for Nepali garments accounting for 60% of clothing exports, with the rest accounted for by India, US, Germany, etc.

Even big production units are splitting their operations in to smaller ones, in a bid to control unionism or are contracting their work to smaller production units, though both the options reduce their competitiveness.

While speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr Uday Raj Pandey, President - Garment Association of Nepal (GAN) said, “Since last 4-5 years the clothing export market is very slow from Nepal. Earlier the main market was USA, but now we also export to the European Union (EU). EU for instance, accounted for 60% of exports.

“The business is slow due to political instability. So, buyers are not sure if they will be able to receive the goods on time. Consequently, Nepal is not receiving big orders, while only small orders are coming, mainly from Europe”.

Informing about the steps and measures being taken by GAN, he said, “Our target is not to let exports fall, when compared to last year. Now we are concentrating on increasing exports to the US, Europe and India.

“Currently India is developing in to a big market for Nepali clothing. So, we are targeting India also, because India is very near to Nepal. Big stores from India are also sourcing goods from Nepal for their branded stores.

“Actually, the fabric from which the apparels are produced comes from other countries like China and Korea, after which the garment is produced in Nepal and then sent to India because, that type of fabric is still not available in India.

“Secondly, we are catering to the small orders because they are more value added, but can be handled by even small factories in Nepal and hence we are marketing in that sector.

“We are talking to the labor unions and trying to negotiate, so that going forward there will be no problems and all shipments can be dispatched on time and in another year, we hope to be able to get big orders. Even now big orders are coming to Nepal but the problem is labor.

“This year, in the budget the government has given some 2-4% export subsidies to the exporters. So hopefully, that will benefit us to increase our exports” he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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