Apparel exports from the country are expected to cross $10.5 billion in 2010-11, according to Premal Udani, Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council.

Mr. Udani told presspersons here on Thursday that the exports in December 2010 were nearly 40 per cent higher than the previous month. Apparel exports in 2009 (January to December) were to the tune of $10,908 million and it declined to $10,460 million in 2010. However, except for November, there was a positive increase during the last three months.

The industry estimated the growth momentum seen in December to continue and 2011 was expected to see 6 per cent increase in the exports. The U.S. and some of the European Union countries were showing signs of recovery.

With the Union Government signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan, India's garment exports to Japan was likely to increase by $50 million this year. The annual garment exports to Japan now were about $125 million.

Though there were signs of revival, the sector was concerned about raw material prices. “As a country we need to decide whether we are interested in export of raw materials or add value and create jobs in the country,” he said.

The Union Government should ensure raw material security and take steps for stability of prices. The duty drawback rates for garments should be increased by 5 per cent, he said.