Coronavirus: Textile secy suggests India capture apparel mkt ceded by China

The textiles ministry on Wednesday said the domestic industry should take advantage of the huge $20-billion space vacated in the global apparel market by China, which is going through a tough time following outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Addressing a symposium on emerging opportunities for Indian textiles, Textiles Secretary Ravi Capoor said domestic textile exports have plateaued during the past 5-7 years, which is a "very worrying proposition for the government".

"India should step in at this stage to take the advantage although not a good way to project ourselves but every crisis has its own silver lining and I think while we are with China with all our emotions and financial, political and diplomatic help but still there appears to be a big economic opportunity which is coming up our way," he said.

In this background, Capoor said it would be the right time to bring the industry together and have a small dialogue to "see how the industry associations are prepared for this opportunity".

As the exports have plateaued, he said the government understood that one of the major issues is that "take up the space that has been vacated by China other than this present crisis (coronavirus)".

The secretary said $20 billion worth of apparel space, mostly in the man-made fibre, has been vacated by China in the past three years and taken away by Vietnam.

"Now is a situation where we are in a position and Textiles Minister (Smriti Irani, who was also present at the symposium) has just spoken to Finance Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) this morning (regarding inverted duty structure on man-made fibres)," Capoor said.

He further said if duty inversion is removed, man-made fibre itself becomes a huge opportunity.

The domestic textile and apparel industry, including handicrafts, stood at $140 billion in 2018, of which $100 billion was domestically consumed, while the remaining portion worth $40 billion was exported to the world market.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel