Days after signing the landmark free-trade agreements with Australia and UAE, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that the agreements would open infinite opportunities for textiles, handloom, footwear etc. He announced that the Indian textile exports to Australia and UAE would now face zero duty.
Giving a major push to textile exports, the minister expressed confidence that soon Europe, Canada, the UK and GCC countries would sign similar agreements.
“Indian Textile Industry is in a very sweet spot to grab this opportunity and hit 'Mauke pe Chauka',” Goyal said while pointing out that the world today was looking for alternative manufacturing sourcing hubs. He added, “the Indian textile Industry has the potential to achieve USD 100 billion dollars in exports by 2030. We will leave no stone unturned to achieve this aggressive growth and substantial target.”
The minister was delivering the keynote address at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the 'Confederation of Indian Textile Industry- Cotton Development and Research Association' (CITI- CDRA) in New Delhi.
He further highlighted that In order to increase production, productivity and quality, India should be open to receiving new technology, rare minerals, and raw materials which are in short supply in the country from the world, at reasonable costs.
The minister applauded CITI-CDRA for working towards developing a robust cotton ecosystem by engaging about 90,000 cotton farmers. He also emphasized the need to promote cotton production in the country as the current figure of 500kg per hectare is half of the world’s average.
Cotton is more than just fibre, it is an integral part of the Indian culture, lifestyle and tradition, the minister observed. He highlighted the need to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ in the textiles sector and said that our textiles must become a symbol of quality, reliability and innovation.
India and Textile Export
India's textile exports from April-December 2021 touched $29.8 billion, up 31% year-on-year. Currently, the sector accounts for about 10% of India’s total merchandise export.
“India is the largest producer of cotton with 23% of global production, sustaining 65 lakh people directly and indirectly,” the Minister said.
The minister urged the apparel industry to divert their focus on sustainable methods of production and farmers to focus on natural methods of farming. He also asked research institutions of eminence working in the field of cotton farming and textiles to work with each other to maximize production and productivity.