The textile industry is among the first industries to come out of the recession Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran said here on Tuesday at a textile industry roundtable, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Minister said most textile companies were posting profits and there was scope for improvement. At present more than half the industry output was exported, but he urged the industry to focus on the domestic market.

Commenting on the priority of his Ministry, he said t exports and technical textiles would be the key focus areas. “However, the Indian exporters are more dependent on European and U.S. markets. Both these markets have a tendency of parallel movement and they boom together and also fall together. Indian exporters should focus on other big markets also.

The entire U.S. import market fell by 12.04 per cent, yet Indian exports to the U.S. fell by a smaller percentage of 7.56, a similar trend is also seen in the EU market,” he said.

On issues facing the industry, Mr. Maran said legacy issues had to be overcome and the industry needed to look at aggressive investments to meet the challenges posed by competing countries like China.

“The government does not have a large role to play since the stimulus was announced and what is required is new ideas, which would help the competitiveness of the industry as a whole.”

On the growth plan he said, “India’s domestic textile consumption is the third largest in the world. In this environment, we have targeted a growth path of 12 per cent for the next five years and a global trade share of 7 per cent. We have to focus on the rural market. Malls and retail space created by malls are not the solution to increase business. Companies in the garments sector should focus on the big rural market too although they try to compete more with international brands which sell products at high prices.”

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