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India offers a one-stop textiles sourcing hub for ASEAN: Textile Minister Smriti Irani 

Jan 23, 2018

ASEAN industry urged to leverage India's strengths in textile value chain

NEW DELHI, 23 January 2018: Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, India's Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, today underlined India's strengths in all textile products, offering to the ASEAN countries a one-stop sourcing destination for a diverse range of products. ASEAN industry could take advantage of this by setting up manufacturing bases in India to cater to the domestic market and exports.  

Addressing the India-ASEAN: Weaving Textile Relations show, celebrating 25 years of India-ASEAN relations, organised by FICCI in association with the Ministries of Textiles and Commerce and Industry, Ms. Irani said that partnership between India and ASEAN was crucial for improving the standard of textile manufacturing and providing wage opportunities in both regions.

The Minister, in the presence of ASEAN Ministers, released a Coffee Table Book titled, 'India ASEAN Textiles: Weaving Relationships'.

Mr. Sandip Somany, Senior Vice President, FICCI and Vice Chairman & MD, HSIL Ltd., stated that FICCI in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry conceived of a project to celebrate India-ASEAN relationship with special focus on the traditional textiles industry, coinciding with the celebration of 25-years of India-ASEAN relationship during the Commemorative Summit. The project is a part of official programme of the Government of India.

The session was also addressed by Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI and Chairperson & MD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group and Ms. Ritu Beri, Founder, The Luxury League.

The Fabric Show later presented a pictorial and music-cum-fashion show of the story of ASEAN and India as they stride the global textile stage today.

Earlier, Mr. Anant Kumar Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, stated that India was strong and competitive across the entire value chain starting from raw materials to finished products. With a strong multi-fibre base with an abundant supply of raw materials like cotton, wool, silk, jute and man-made fibres, India enjoyed a distinct advantage of backward integration which many countries do not possess.

Mr. Singh noted that despite the operation of the FTA in goods with the ASEAN, India's exports of textiles and apparels to ASEAN have virtually been constant in the last few years and have not shown much traction. "Though India has the unique advantage of having the presence of the entire textile value chain, its most exported items to ASEAN consisting of cotton fibre, cotton yarn and fabrics have not grown to the desired extent. This makes it evident that we have not been able to explore and leverage the strengths of our textiles industry to the fullest," he noted.

He stressed the need for a robust framework for export of textiles and apparels between the two sides to give a fillip to trade.

Mr. Singh said that ASEAN countries have a unique position in the regional value chains and offer a gateway for market access to China, North East Asia and the EU for India through their various trade agreements. Furthermore, there exists an opportunity for ASEAN textile manufacturers to invest in manufacturing in India to cater to both the domestic market and exports, he said, adding that the scope for investment in India was immense in the entire value chain of synthetics, value added and speciality fabrics, fabric processing and technical textiles.

Dato Ramesh Kodammal, Co-Chair, ASEAN India Business Council & Chairman, Goldtex, Malaysia, said that the strength of textile bonds between ASEAN and India could be gauged from the fact that whatever was used by the people in the ASEAN region had an input from the Indian textile industry. This relationship was not just limited to cloth but extended to yarn, weaving, dyeing, machinery and the people connect. He urged the textile industry on both sides to work together and cash in on the demand from the huge middle class in the two regions.

Mr. Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, FICCI Textiles Committee and CMD, Ginni Filaments Ltd., in his remarks, said that India-ASEAN relations in textiles cannot be limited to just trade and investments and have multi-dimensional facets. Both India and ASEAN have some of the oldest weaving styles that need to be preserved and nurtured. "We need to have a more structured arrangement for our institutes and designers to have fusion of our traditional textiles. We also need to harness and pool the resources of our designers and work towards providing such talents the opportunity to move seamlessly between ASEAN countries and India to share their expertise and knowledge to the mutual betterment of our economic prospects."

Mr. S K Khandelia, Co-Chair, FICCI Textiles Committee and Group President, Sutlej Textiles and Industries Ltd.,stated that fabrics and garments offered huge scope for investment in India. He saw huge demand in India for technical textiles from hospital to the defence forces and for Geo-tech, Med-tech and Build-Tech in the development of smart cities and the Sagar Mala project in India. He said the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries occupied a unique position in the regional value chain and can help India gain access to European markets.

The session was moderated by Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI.





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