India has improved its ranking in global textile trade to emerge as the second biggest exporter, beating its competitors like Italy, Germany and Bangladesh, while China retains its top position.
India's share in global textiles has increased to $40.2 billion in 2-13, a 17.5 per cent increase compared to the previous year, as per the recent data released by 'UN Comtrade'.
This growth is phenomenal as the global textiles growth rate is only 4.7 per cent compared to India as it has registered the growth of 23 per cent beating China and Bangladesh, which have recorded export growth rates of 11.4 per cent and 15.4 per cent, respectively.
Virender Uppal, chairman of Apparels Export Promotion Council (AEPC), expressed happiness over the impressive growth.
''Despite having slow recovery in USA and EU, our biggest traditional markets, as well as the prevailing global slowdown coupled with sustained cost of inflationary inputs, we made the best possible efforts to reach here. The government policy of diversification of market and product base has helped us and we ventured into the newer markets, which paid huge dividends. We also leveraged our raw material strengths and followed sustained better compliance practices which attracted the buyers and international brands across globe to source from India,'' he said.
Total global textiles exports stood at $772 billion during 2-13, with India commanding 5.2 per cent share of the market.
The growth in the share of the textiles exports from India has been largely due to the growth in the apparel and clothing sector as it accounts for the almost 43 per cent of the share alone. The apparel exports ranking has also improved from 8th position in 2012 to 6th position in 2013.
India exported apparel worth a total $15.7 billion in 2013, as against exports worth $12.9 billion in 2012. Among the top five global clothing suppliers except for the Vietnam, India's apparel exports growth was highest reporting 21.8 per cent growth during the year 2013.
Apparel exports from India accounts for 3.7 per cent of the global trade in readymade garments.
Uppal, however, pointed out that the industry could do more to achieve better results.
He demanded that government remove the bottleneck in the availability of specialty fabric for which AEPC has been aggressively demanding a reduction in import duty to 5 per cent.
''Garment exporters may be permitted to import it with 5 per cent duty scrip on the input, so as to increase exports and optimally use to the fullest extent our potential,'' he said, adding that the rising interest rate is another issue which hampers growth.
AEPC has again requested the government for a separate chapter for pre and post shipment export credit at fixed rate of 7.0 per cent interest, as was done in the past also to the apparel export sector and treat readymade garment as the priority sector for lending.
Increasing labour cost in China, non-compliance of large number of factories in Bangladesh provided India a big opportunity in view of its relative advantage, risk appetite of Indian entrepreneurs and a small push from the government may help India to get more business as overseas buyers are looking at India as safe and reliable option for the sourcing, he pointed out.
However, to capture the space in market left by China and Bangladesh, he said, Indian manufacturers have to be competitive in pricing, apart from meeting strict timelines, better quality delivery and therefore, active support of government agencies is very crucial. AEPC is pushing in this direction to seek export friendly enabling environment from the government, Uppal added.