The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has sought expeditious completion of the India-European Union free trade agreement (FTA), as it would provide better market access to Indian exporters.
At a ceremony to inaugurate the India International Garment Fair (IIGF 2014), AEPC chairman Virender Uppal said the council recommends that the Government expedites the process of finalization of India-EU FTA, as it would give better market access, similar to the one already enjoyed by Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam—all competitors to India in apparel exports.
After signing of FTA/PTA (preferential trade agreement), India’s clothing exports to those countries have increased significantly, and these markets contributed 12 percent to India’s apparel exports of US$ 15.7 billion last year, Mr. Uppal said.
India’s Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who inaugurated the 53rd IIGF at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, said the Union Government attaches great importance to the textile sector.
“India has the significant advantage of a young population offering huge potential for a demographic dividend. The apparel sector being the highest employment provider in the manufacturing sector, especially for women and other weaker sections of the society, has a much bigger role and responsibility,” Mr. Gangwar said.
IIGF2014, India’s largest garment show in South Asia, covering apparel and fashion accessories, has attracted participation of 416 buyers, with half of them from the non-traditional markets.
The 53rd IIGF has exhibitors from across the length and breadth of India showcasing their products in four categories of exhibits: Womenswear, Menswear, Kidswear and Fashion Accessories.