'India's apparel export to touch $18 billion in 2015'

21 Oct '15
3 min read

India’s apparel exports are likely to increase to $18 billion in calendar year 2015 and to $20 billion 2016 against $16.5 billion in 2014, according to a report by investment information and credit rating agency ICRA. The growth in India’s apparel exports will be supported by our expectations of increase in the global apparel trade and partly due to benefits of depreciated rupee.

But the report warned that “depreciated rupee is unlikely to remain as a sustainable advantage in long-term as India’s market share in world’s trade has not significantly changed despite depreciation of Indian Rupee during last three years. To achieve the market-share growth in the long-term, the structure challenges as highlighted earlier needs to be addressed.”

The report pointed out that while India is the world’s sixth largest apparel exporter after China, Bangladesh, Italy, Germany and Vietnam, its share in global apparel exports had remained modest over the last decade at 3 to 4 per cent despite India being one of the world’s largest cotton producer and manufacturer of man-made fibers with world’s second largest spinning and weaving capacity

The report said while China, Bangladesh and Vietnam were able to realize the benefits of the new trade arrangement (WTO's agreement on textile and clothing) thereby increasing their share in global apparel trade substantially, India's share had remained modest despite its strength in terms of availability of cotton.

"China is the largest apparel exporter on account of the largest global capacities across the textile value chain; however, the share of India had remained modest despite India being amongst the largest producer of cotton and man-made fibre and having the second largest capacity for spinning and weaving," it said.

According to the report, fragmented nature of the weaving, processing and garmenting industries with low levels of modernization, higher cost of production, modest share of non-cotton apparel and reliance on imported machineries across the textile chain have been the key factors which had constrained growth in India's apparel exports.

Domestic apparel industry expected to maintain the growth rate witnessed in the past, driven by steady consumption demand growth; global apparel trade expected to maintain the momentum in CY 2015 and CY 2016; while India’s apparel exports will increase with increase in global apparel trade, the share in the global trade is unlikely to improve significantly unless structural challenges are addressed, the report said.

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