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India’s Textile Exports Expected to be Flat in FY16

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A recent PCI Fibres report pooh-poohed the possibility of India succeeding China as the top Asian textile and garment exporter—and the country’s government doesn’t think it will happen anytime soon either.

According to the Economic Times, India’s textile commissioner Kavita Gupta has said she expects overall exports of textiles and apparel to reach roughly $40 billion for the fiscal year 2015-16. That’s less than last year, when shipments hit $41.4 billion owing to an increase in overseas sales of ready-made garments, as well as growth in the silk, wool and woolen textile sectors.

By comparison, China exported $44.86 billion worth of textiles to the European Union alone last year.

India’s projected figure is also a far cry from the $300 billion worth of exports the country is expecting its new textile policy to generate within 10 years.

“We see slowdown in China as an opportunity for us and we are looking at $40 billion of textiles exports this year. To overcome global slowdown, the textile ministry will give full support to the industry,” Gupta told reporters after inaugurating the 62nd National Garment Fair, organized by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), pointing out that she sees untapped potential in the technical textiles sector. “We see slowdown in China as an opportunity and not as a challenge for Indian textile exports. We need to act fast in seizing opportunity. We need to promote every segment as we are losing out to Bangladesh and Vietnam.”

While India’s apparel exports to the United States increased by 7.7% year-to-date in November, it was nothing compared to the volume of growth that Vietnam and Bangladesh experienced in the same period, at 14.1% and 11.4% respectively.

The Economic Times reported that Rahul Mehta, president of CMAI, appears to be more focused on exports to South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, which he said have “increased significantly.”

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