India-Japan EPA will boost textile trade, Director - METI
Mr Takakazu Kitatani
“Once the EPA is signed, most of the products traded between the countries will attract zero percent duty and will help boost textile trade and as a first step we would like to aggressively promote Japanese textiles in the Indian market”, said a top official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan.
A Japanese textile delegation was recently in Mumbai under the banner of the Japan-India Fashion Forum (JIFF), in order to showcase their high-end fabrics produced in Japan, like suede, silk-denim, organic lace, crepe, coated lace and wool-polyester blends, to Indian apparel manufacturers and retailers. The JIFF was initiated from the Japanese side by Mr Atul Parikh, President - Infinity Creations, based in Tokyo since over 30 years and Mr Rahul Mehta, President of the Clothing Manufacturers 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), Ms Akiko Shinoda, Director - International Affairs - Japan Fashion Week Organization (JFWO), Mr Yoshiaki Kamiyama, Chief Research Analyst - The Japan Textile Importers Association (JTIA) and others.
On the sidelines of the conference, fibre2fashion caught up with Mr Takakazu Kitatani, who is the equivalent to the Textiles Secretary in the Ministry of Textiles – India. When asked to comment on the main purpose of this textile delegation, he said, “I was one of the team members involved in the negotiations for the Japan-India Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The bilateral textile trade between India and Japan is very negligible. And since the EPA could be made effective anytime in 2011, I realized that, this is the best time to visit India and explore opportunities in the textile and apparel sector.
“Once the EPA is signed, most of the products traded between the countries will attract zero percent duty and will help boost textile trade. As a first step we would like to aggressively promote Japanese textiles in the Indian market. Since the Japanese market is small compared to the Indian market, some kind of collaboration between Japanese and Indian textile entrepreneurs will create a win-win situation for both sides”.
When quizzed about how he would rate the potential of India which is considered as an emerging market, with the same type of other global markets, he informed, “The large population of India and the GDP growth which is consistent between 8-9 percent, certainly reflects that there is very good potential and a strong reason to be here. Secondly this GDP growth will lead to a rise in incomes of Indian consumers, which will also be one of the key attractions for the Japanese”.
Finally we asked him to comment on his observations from this initiative, he replied by saying, “There seems to be positive response from the Indian buyers to the textile products fromJapan and we hope that it will develop further once the EPA is signed in the near future”, he concluded by saying.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India