India's apparel exports are projected to more than quadruple over the next three years to around $60 billion by 2016-17, from levels around $15 billion at present, according to the Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC).
With rising exports to western markets like the US and Europe and with active government support, AEPC, the apex body for apparel and garment exports, expects the country to emerge the world's top exporter of apparels.
In fact, India's apparel exports grew 31 per cent year-on-year in October 2013, on the back of a low rupee.
Apparel exports from the country increased by 15.5 per cent year-on-year to $8.2 billion in the first seven months of the current financial year, against exports of $13 billion for the full previous financial year.
Exports in April-October period of the 2013-14 financial year have increased by 15.5 per cent in dollar terms over the same period of the previous financial year and stood at $8.26 billion.
In rupee terms, however, exports increased by 26.18 per cent compared to same period of last fiscal.
Speaking at the Textile Conclave 2013 in New Delhi, on Monday, AEPC chairman A Shaktivel said India's garment exports would be touching $60 billion in the next 3 years, with government support.
''We are getting good orders and have won the confidence of buyers. As Brand India we are recognised everywhere but the challenge is translating that leverage into the world textiles global hub,'' he said, adding that shortage of labour is a problem.
''We are looking for skilled people in large number to meet them,'' Shaktivel said.
He added that India would definitely be "number one in garment export".
The one-day Textiles Conclave 2013 was organised by the ministry of textiles.
The Union Textiles Minister inaugurated the conference in presence of Secretary Textiles Smt Zohra Chatterji and stakeholders of the Textiles Industry.
India's apparel exports grew 31 per cent year-on-year in October 2013 helped by a low rupee.
Apparel exports stood at $13 billion last fiscal. During April-October 2013, apparel exports have increased by 15.5 per cent year-on-year to $8.2 billion.
Export in dollar terms for April-Oct. of the FY 2013-14 increased by 15.5 per cent over the same period of previous FY and reached to $8259 million however, in rupee terms exports increased by 26.18 per cent compared to same period of last FY.
Shaktivel said the Textiles Conclave has helped to deliberate on various issues concerning the apparel and textile sector and share perspectives with bodies like NTC, SRTEPC, EPCH, TEXPROCIL. SIMA, CMAI, etc.
Speaking at the Textiles Conclave 2013 textiles minister K S Rao stated, ''This is the golden era of textiles in India and we have to work to make India hub of Textiles exports. I don't think it's difficult to achieve the number 1 position. We have the potential and capacity we need to just take care of skill training and power availability.''
Delivering the inaugural address, textiles secretary Zohra Chatterji stated that, the textile ministry is building a road map to move forward. ''The planned schemes are ready and we are going full way to implement it. We have a strong raw material base, skilled workforce and stringent compliant standards.
"Top brands and retails are eyeing India as a sourcing destination. We have a large skill base to meet the growing burgeoning demand the women need s to work for the longer hours and our role is to make this possible,'' Chatterji said.
The participants of AEPC also spoke of DISHA, which is the programme for ensuring compliance with standards in the garment factories across India.