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TEA appeals to PM to resume FTA talks with EU
Oct '15
The Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resume the stalled negotiation with European Union to formalise a Free trade Agreement (FTA) urgently as it would help to double the garment exports to EU in next three years and create more employment.

In a press release issued today, TEA said its President Dr .A Sakthivel has written to the PM, pointing out that the EU is a traditional market for India's garment exporters, accounting for 43 per cent of total garment exports from India. He said the garment sector exported readymade garments (RMG) worth $16.82 billion in 2014–15, out of which garments worth $7.16 billion were exported to the European Union. He said there is still the potential to enhance exports to the EU once a level playing field is provided to the sector.

“The European Union market is playing a crucial role in garment exports and enhancement of our exports to EU will directly help for the creation of more employment in domestic market, mainly the women workers, semi literate workers from Rural areas after fulfilling the Hon'ble PM vision of Make in India concept. We could also double our exports to EU in next three years from the existing level of US $7.16 Billion,” Dr Sakthivel said in his letter.

He said that being compliance oriented units, TEA is confident that Indian RMG sector an edge out competing countries and increase India's market share significantly once FTA is implemented.

The TEA President also pointed out that the devaluation of the yuan is helping Chinese garment exporters to increase their competitiveness in the EU. Another major competitor, Bangladesh, enjoys Duty Free status in the EU as an under developed country. Bangladesh has leveraged that concession to notch up garment exports to the EU worth $15.37 billion compared to India's $7.16 billion.

Dr Sakthivel said that Germany, a leading trading partner in the EU is also inclined sign an FTA with India. He ended the letter requesting the PM to advice the Commerce Ministry to resume the stalled negotiations with the EU for FTA.

In August this year, India deferred talks for the proposed free trade agreement after expressing disappointment over the EU banning sale of around 700 pharma products clinically tested by Hyderabad's GVK Biosciences. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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