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Post-Brexit, India to seek PTA with Britain
02
Jul '16
India intends to begin negotiations with Britain for signing a Preferential Treatment Agreement (PTA) for duty-free garment export after the country voted to leave the European Union.

“Garment export from India to European countries attracts 9.6 per cent duty, making our shipments uncompetitive in comparison with Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. These countries have signed PTAs under which they export garments to the entire EU at nil duty. This is the right time to step up our efforts with the United Kingdom for a PTA. The ministry is looking into it,” Textiles Secretary Rashmi Verma told reporters in Mumbai.

India's textile export was estimated at $38 billion in 2015-16, a fourth to Europe. The UK imported $2.5 billion, a fourth of the EU consignments. “The UK is an important market for us,” said Verma.

She said the government is also simultaneously making a lot of effort at clinching a free trade agreement with the EU, giving it top priority as it is one of India's biggest markets especially for textiles.

The government is also re-negotiating terms with countries such as Japan where there is a free trade agreement but the results haven't been as expected.

The government last week announced Rs 6,000 crore of incentive schemes for textiles, which it hopes would create 10 million additional jobs in three years.

But an Ernst & Young report, released on Friday, has raised doubts on this. “While value addition and exports will continue growth, job creation would contract in the years to come, due to rapid mechanisation and standardisation of factories,” the report said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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