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GAN advises RMG exporters to use azo-free fabrics
Sep '11
The European Union has announced that it will issue compulsory azo-free certificates for clothing imported in to the region, beginning from 2012.

Warning bells have started ringing in the ready-made garment industry of Nepal, whose exports started ascending 2010 onwards after five years of continuous decline and also at a time when the European Union was being considered as a promising destination for Nepali RMG exports.

Mr Uday Raj Pandey, President, Garment Association Nepal (GAN) says, “For RMG exports to the European Union, they are asking for all garments to be azo-dye free from 2012. A lot of Nepalese exporters are already using imported and locally-produced fabrics which are azo-dye free.

“We have already advised all the exporters to be careful and ensure all the fabrics are azo-dye free so that there is no problem at European Union ports. But, sometimes some small Batik shops in Europe demand a variety in styles, dyeing, and cuts and ask for value added goods, so those goods are sometimes dyed locally and this is where the azo-dye problem might creep in”.

Speaking about the current state of the garment industry, he reveals, “Since the last five years, the garment industry has been going down due to political instability in the country. A lot of export businesses have closed in the period. A few days back, one of the big factories in which an investment bank had invested in an Indo-Nepalese joint venture company, closed due to labour problems.

“Garments are major exports from Nepal but due to some political instability and shutdown calls many units have closed down. But since the last one year, garments worth almost 2.5 billion Nepalese rupees have been exported. So if you compare, with the previous fiscal year, it is negligible, but compared to last five years, there is a huge rise in garment exports.

“Initially, 90% of our exports were to the USA only. But now, the exporters have shifted more than 50% goods to the European Union, with just 25% to the USA and for the remaining 25%, exporters are targeting exports to India.

“Clothing exports to India started in the last 2-3 years. However, India is becoming a new market for Nepalese exports because India is closest to Nepal and a lot of big Indian stores have begun sourcing from the Nepalese market.

“This is because certain fabrics are not even available in India, so Nepalese exporters buy fabrics from countries like China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines and bring them to Nepal, convert them in to apparel and export it to big stores in India.

“7-8 garment factories are exporting from Nepal. But, the close down of the biggest factory which is exporting to India, a multi-national company, might hurt exports to India. But, we hope that, once there is political stability and labour problem is solved, the country will grow in garment exports".

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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