IMPRESSIONS from a Cross-section

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What are the current challenges for the export community post easing of the lockdown?

Main challenges are breakdown of supply chain and shrinkage of manpower
Apart from the pandemic, Indian exporters are now facing a new issue—the stand-off with China. Textile experts discuss the consequences in detail.


The Indian apparel industry has always been dependent on China for machinery. The few weeks when customs had put a hold on all Chinese imports under the pretext of 100 per cent examination were a nightmare for garment exporters who were dependent on Chinese trims and fabrics. The industry has been slowly limping back to normal after the lockdown, and measures like this will only delay shipments and India will lose credibility as a reliable apparel exporter.

Currently, the main challenges are the breakdown of the supply chain and the shrinkage of manpower. Our vendors are trying hard to resume production and shipping, but the intermittent lockdowns to control the spread of the virus takes them back to square one. The imports of various accessories from China like laces, dyestuff and others have impacted the production lead times.

We see the 'work to rule' at various ports for import shipments leading to 100 per cent inspection of cargo resulting in a chain reaction, subsequently leading to delays in eventual exports. That leads to either air freighting the goods or cancellation as a worse-case scenario. Neither of them is good for the country.

The fear of a government ban on imports from China keeps niggling. India needs swift action from the government, especially the ministry of textiles, to help provide increased incentives to exporters to stay long enough in the fight-if not to win-certainly to survive.

There are challenges of lead time, capacity, pricing and quality that need to be chipped away.

This article was first published in the August 2020 edition of the print magazine.

Published on: 24/08/2020

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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