Reacting on the apparel exports data, for the month of April 2014-15, Mr. Virender Uppal, Chairman AEPC, remarked, “This is the first month of the 2014-15 and Apparel Exports have recorded the growth of 14.33% compared to the April month of last financial year. The export for April 2014-15 is to the tune of US $ 1.3 billion compared to US $ 1.1 billion in the 2013-14 over April month of the previous year.”
Appreciating the role of garment exporters Mr. Uppal stated that, “Indian garment manufacturing sector has the highest potential and it needs to increase competitiveness to generate more employment and boost apparel exports from India. This could only be achieved by enabling facilitative business environment, given its critical role in fostering growth in manufacturing.
“The need is to simplify the regulatory system and ensure fair competition among the players. By tuning- up the policy Government should help industry in reducing the cost of inputs, ensure availability of raw material and affordable credit for the industry. “AEPC has been aggressively advocating for such measures from time to time, including easier imports of fabrics of consistent quality standards at competitive price.”
Mr. Uppal informed that, “Presently India is 7th largest apparel exporter in global market with 3.2% share in global exports. China, Bangladesh and Vietnam are the other large developing suppliers in global market who have been able to make it bigger by easier import policies.”
A number of inhibiting factors such as stringent labour laws, compliance issues, availability of MMF and blended garments, short production cycles to capture markets for all seasons, Simplification of export procedures so as to reduce transaction cost and time, mitigating power cost disadvantage, high export credit, tariff disadvantage in major markets, etc were prime reasons for inhibiting the growth and therefore was responsible for the present level of performance in the last fiscal, despite best push made by industry, he observed.
Ongoing growth pattern was unexpectedly high when we look at the previous trend which has occurred purely on the account of rupee depreciation; however, increasing labour cost in China, non-compliance of Bangladesh factories may help India to get more business as overseas buyers are looking at India as safe and reliable option for the sourcing.
But to capture the space in market left by China and Bangladesh, we have to be competitive in pricing, apart from meeting strict timelines, better quality delivery by Indian exporters for which the Government agencies active support is very crucial. AEPC is pushing in this direction to seek export friendly enabling environment from the Government, given the fact that Indian Apparel exporter are rated much higher in compliance standards.
Chairman AEPC underlined that, I have raised number of issues related to procedural simplifications for smoothing out the trade which can be done without much financial implications or changes in policy. I am hopeful that the new Government will listen to our demands and will come up with an Industry friendly Foreign Trade Policy soon.