Indian textile industry needs to face global challenges: Jardosh

Union minister of state for textile Darshana Jardosh urged the Indian textile industry to prepare itself to face the challenges of structural shift in the global textile market. She was speaking as the guest of honour at the theme session of the tenth edition of the Asian Textile Conference (ATEXCON) currently underway in New Delhi, India.

Senior ministry officials and industry captains are attending the ATEXCON.

The minister appreciated Indian industry for playing a proactive role in the global market. She said that the recent ban by the US on cotton originating from Xinjiang region in China can cause cotton prices to go up in the international market and the Indian industry needs to prepare itself to face the problem. Indian currency has recorded depreciation against the US dollar which may provide temporary relief, but other Asian currencies have recorded more depreciation against the dollar, which may cause the competition to intensify in the international market. Indian textile exporters will have to develop capacity to face the stiff competition.

The theme for this edition of ATEXCON is the prospects and challenges of textile Industry in the next decade. The minister said in the theme session that Indian industry will not only have to face current challenges but also need to prepare itself for the next decade. She said that there was a structural shift after COVID-19 and textile sourcing countries are working on China Plus One concept which presents tremendous opportunities for the domestic industry.

Minister Jardosh appealed to the industry that it should focus on research and innovation to achieve the goal as per the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She emphasised on training workers who work in the country’s cottage industry of the textile sector.

Textile secretary Upendra Prasad Singh said in the theme session that every industry and sector in India must play a role in achieving the target of becoming a developed nation in the next 25 years as per the vision of the Prime Minister. He said that the Indian textile industry has the strength to expand in the global market as it has a complete value chain. Many other countries lack such strength. The government is working proactively to address the current problems of the industry.

Singh added that the industry is demanding raw material security which is an important area to be addressed. The government is working to increase cotton production and quality. But man-made fibre is quite important to ensure raw material supplies. He asked industry representatives to focus on the sustainability of the value chain. Many products can be produced by blending recycled fibre which is more cost effective and sustainable. He urged the industry to increase efficiency to face global challenges. Bangladesh and Vietnam have succeeded in increasing their share in the US market and the Indian industry will also have to develop the strength to expand its market share.

T. Rajkumar, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) said in his welcome address that the global textile industry is witnessing a reshuffle of the entire supply chain including the countries from which apparel is sourced. Terms like ‘China Plus One’, re-shoring, onshoring, etc are being commonly heard in interactions across the textile value chain. He said that the value of global textile and apparel exports stood at $828 billion in 2021, registering a growth of 8 per cent over $770 billion in the previous year. Accounting for around 37 per cent of the figure, China continues to be the number one textile-apparel exporting country. With around 5 per cent share each, Bangladesh, Germany, and India are neck-and-neck, followed by Vietnam at 4.5 per cent.

The share of textile, apparel and handicrafts in India’s total exports was 10.62 per cent in 2021-22. In addition to being the largest producer of cotton and jute, India is the second largest producer of silk. The technical textiles segment too has an estimated 9-11 per cent share in the global market.

The government of India too had temporarily removed basic customs duty on cotton import till September 30, and later extended it by a month till October 31, 2022. But this did not help the industry in reducing the overall production cost as raw material prices saw an exponential rise globally.