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CEPA to triple India's apparel exports to Australia: AEPC

Jun '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Ahead of the first virtual bilateral summit between Prime Ministers of India and Australia on June 4, Indian apparel exporters have requested for an early Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) saying it would more than triple their exports to Australia in three years. India exports around $200 million of garments per year to Australia.
“An early conclusion of the India-Australia CEPA would surely impact Indian apparel exports positively. As per our estimates, India can increase additional exports of $500 million in the next three years, if the CEPA with Australia is concluded,” Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Indian apparel exporters are desirous of engaging with Australia in a big way. It is our sincere prayer and request to have an early CEPA with Australia and to include apparel as a focus product to enter the Australian market in a large way, AEPC chairman A Sakthivel said in the letter.
Australia is the 18th largest importer of apparel with $6.6 billion imports in 2019. Presently, China is the major supplier to Australia with 64 per cent share while India’s share is 1.2 per cent with exports worth $206 million. Indian apparel can make faster inroads in the Australian market, Sakthivel said.
“Australia presently has preferential agreements with our major competitors like China and Vietnam. Australia also gives GSP benefits to Bangladesh and Cambodia, resulting in a 5 per cent duty advantage for these countries vis-à-vis India,” Sakthivel said, adding that the bilateral discussions should also include India-Australia CEPA.
The letter also highlighted India’s duty disadvantage of 9.6 per cent in the EU market as compared to competitors like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. "Recently, Vietnam has also concluded an FTA with the EU, implementation of which will make us uncompetitive with Vietnam also in the EU market," Sakthivel said.
“There is an urgent need to have a level playing field in terms of market access and margin of preference in the biggest global market for Indian apparel i.e. EU (44.5 per cent). We are aware of the efforts being made by the Government for resuming the EU FTA and forging new ties with the UK and the US,” he added.
Sakthivel thanked the Prime Minister for the various announcements to help the industry in mitigating the present crisis due to the pandemic. He thanked him for his leadership during the crisis and expressed confidence that the country would soon get back to high growth path and become 'Self-Reliant' India.
AEPC has made similar requests to Union minister of textiles Smriti Irani and Union minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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June 2021

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