Falling orders from struggling western markets–in the US, Europe, and Canada–have forced Indian garment exports to seek new buyers, according to the latest reports. In an interview with just-style, Dr. A Sakthivel, chairman of India’s Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), said that India has “started to look for new markets in South America, South Africa, Japan, and Israel.”
Dr. Sakthivel said that orders from Japan have grown (thanks, in no small part, to the 2011 India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which made garment exports between the two countries duty-free) and new orders have been placed from South Africa and Japan, but these new markets can’t compensate for the Western drop, particularly in Europe.
As Dr. Sakthivel explained, these secondary markets aren’t replacements for the European market, but a means of supporting the Indian garment industry until the European economy begins to recover. Orders in the US are showing signs of recovery, but demand from Europe, which still accounts for half of Indian garment exports, is down 10% from last year.