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Japanese delegation in India to market high-end fabrics
Dec '10
For the first time ever, a Japanese textile delegation was in Mumbai to solicit Indian apparel manufacturers and retailers for their high-end fabrics produced in Japan, like suede, silk-denim, organic lace, crepe, coated lace and wool-polyester blends.

This conference was organised on the initiative of an Indian, but Japan-based entrepreneur, Mr Atul Parikh and Mr Rahul Mehta, President of the Clothing Manufacturer Association of India (CMAI) from the Indian side.

The Japanese delegation included Mr Takakazu Kitatani, Director - International Textile and Clothing Trade Office - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Mr Yoshiaki Kamiyama, Chief Research Analyst - The Japan Textiles Importers Association (JTIA), Ms Akiko Shinoda, Director - International Affairs - Japan Fashion Week Organization and others.

A wide number of Indian industry heavyweights from the textile, apparel sector and also fashion designers had a birds-eye view of the wide array of the fabrics on display and were widely appreciated by one and all for their quality and finishes, which have been developed by the Japanese and are exclusive to the country.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr Takakazu Kitatani said, “India is an emerging economy and growing at a growth of around 9 percent per annum, while that of Japan is stagnating, due to which we consider the Indian market as attractive, mainly due to the huge middle class. India and Japan may sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) early next year, which may bring exports of textile and apparels under zero duty on both sides”.

“Currently, the textile trade between the two countries is low and this FTA will help both the countries to increase their exports from the sector to each other. With the expectation that exports of textiles will attract zero-duty in the future, the first-ever textile delegation is in India to prepare the ground for a further boost” he concluded by saying.

Giving details about the meet, Mr Rahul Mehta said, “This initiative was conceptualized in Japan late last year, whereby Japan is looking at India as a prospective trading partner in three main aspects. Boost exports of Japanese textile products to India, amplify imports from India and look for some sort of a technological tie-up with Indian manufacturers.

“The Japanese have realized that India is a market that they can no longer ignore. So they are now in India to understand the needs, preferences, trends, etc of Indian consumers. Even with regards to sourcing of products, they now consider that India can prove to be a natural alternative to the Chinese, whose domination they want to reduce in their markets.

“With regards to technology tie-ups, the Indian textile and apparel industry has proved that, it can adopt and adept to the latest technology in the world and in the process produce world-class products, all, which provides a win-win situation for the two countries and which also led to the initial interaction between Japan and India.

“This led to a thought process to set up some kind of a body to interact and coordinate between Japan and India, which has now been tentatively called the India-Japan Fashion Forum. This body will help the Japanese to understand better and avoid mistakes that new comers tend to make.

“I hope that this initiative will help the textile and clothing trade to blossom in both the directions”, he wrapped up by saying

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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