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Uniqlo Looks to Source Garments from India

Uniqlo, Japan’s largest clothier backed by Fast Retailing Co. has plans to start sourcing garments from India.

Company chairman and chief executive officer Tadashi Yanai, met with newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday to discuss prospects of working in the country.

During the meeting, Modi “highlighted the advantages that India enjoys in the garment sector, including availability of cotton, skilled manpower, robust infrastructure, a big domestic market and good ports for exports,” according to a statement from the Indian government.

Fast Retailing currently has production operations in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia and the company has been consistently working to grow its global business.

The group’s net sales for the six months ended February 2014 were up 24.3% year on year to 764.3 billion Japanese yen ($7.5 billion) and the company saw significant increases in sales and income for Uniqlo International, which includes all operations outside of its Japan homebase.

India exports roughly $15 worth of apparel annually, and the Clothing Manufacturer’s Association of India (CMAI) projects that number will reach $17 billion in fiscal year 2015.

While the Indian government’s statement did not specify whether the discussion  included talks of eventual Uniqlo store openings in India, some say the move is likely as Uniqlo has reportedly been eyeing the market. India allows retailers to set up stores in the country only if they source at least 30 percent of their product there.