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Will Obama's victory influence Asian textile industry?

06
Nov '08
Barrack Obama
It was one of the momentous events in the history of United States of America, when Barrack Obama, the African-American Democratic Party candidate, was elected as the 44th President.

“Change has come,” Senator Obama had told his cheering supporters in Chicago at a midnight rally.

In order to take the US textile industry to the greater heights, Obama has outlined a new textile policy, according to which, a monitoring program on imports from various countries will be included.

Now, repercussion of such policy may create pressure on textile industry in the Asian region. Textile associations of various countries have become apprehensive of the current situation and are worried, what effect it will put on their textile and apparel industry and its exports.

In an exclusive interaction with Fibre2fashion, Ms Chandrima Chatterjee, Joint Director, Economic cell, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), says, “The Indo-US trade which was nearly US $42 billion in 2007, is expected to touch $60 billion in 2008 and a whopping $100 billion in three to four years. Textile and apparel is an important element in this with 14 percent of the merchandise trade from India comprising of apparel. Also, 32 percent of India's exports of apparel in 2007-08 were directed to USA.”

Further Ms Chatterjee stated, “There is a lot of hope that Obama administration will bring in policy changes to curb the recession. The biggest problem before the apparel exporters in India today is the slump in retail sales of apparel in USA and the resultant decline in orders. Any good news on the recession front, even change of sentiments, will have a positive impact on the export scenario.”

Mr Sajjan Jindal, President ASSOCHAM, expressed confidence that bilateral and economic relationships between India and US would further improve and intensify.

The greater cooperation between US and India at this critical juncture will be highly desirable, further added the ASSOCHAM President.

Talking on the same line, Mr Towfique Hassan, Secretary General, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) assumes, “Regarding new Government in US, as an optimistic man, I think the world will experience a change, however, it may take some time to visualize to the positive impact. As an analyst I can say there will not be a major shift in the foreign policy in near future.”

The Secretary General went on saying, “Bangladesh is trying for duty free market access to the US for apparel and textile items. However it seems that the new partnership for development act may take some time to get through the congress and senate, to provide what we are asking for. However, it is expected that the new Govt will take stock of the demand of LDC (least developed countries) without any discrimination as has been done in case of 'AGOA Act' that provided African and sub Sahara countries duty-free market access. There are total 49 least developed countries.”


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