Leads a delegation of government, industry representatives
To help diversify market for textile exports
To address JIBC business meeting
NEW DELHI: The Union Textiles Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, is all set to embark on a major mission to help diversify the world market for textile exports from India, with a visit to Japan next week heading a first-ever joint delegation of Government and industry representatives.
During the visit, from July 20 to 22, Mr. Maran will address a business meeting hosted by Japan-India Business Cooperation Committee (JIBC), apart from inaugurating the Indian pavilion at the International Fashion Fair, which is being held from July 22 to 24 in Tokyo.
The visit comes in the backdrop of a steep drop in textile exports from India over the past one year on account of falling demand in the U.S. and Europe, which have been the two major markets for Indian textiles products. While the global economic slowdown has hit all the countries, demand for textile goods had been affected the most in the U.S. and Europe. Of late, there has been some improvement in the U.S. market, but no change in the European market.
Emphasising that his visit was not intended merely as a stop-gap measure to tide over the crisis, but to build a long-term relationship with Japan, Mr. Maran said, “It was our fault that we had so far been focussing mainly on the U.S. and European Union. We want to change this now”.
Addressing a group of Indian and Japanese journalists, he expressed confidence that the Japanese would get attracted to Indian textile products. “Indian industry adopts highest standards of quality. India also has stringent labour laws for the protection of the workers and follows eco-friendly policies. The Japanese consumers need not have any doubts. Our products are certified by the Europeans and they follow the world’s best standards”.
In a lighter vein, he reminded the Japanese journalists that Tirupur, which is the major hub for textile exports from India, was located in Tamil Nadu, from where film star, Rajnikant, also hailed. Rajnikant is reportedly very popular in Japan.
The delegation includes leading textile manufacturers and exporters from Tirupur and Coimbatore clusters, apart from representatives of Apparel Export Promotion Council, Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council and Knitwear Technology Mission.
At present, India had a negligible market share of 1.12 per cent in Japanese textile import basket. China is its predominant trade partner in the sector, accounting for 92 per cent of the basket. Much of the trade came from units set up by the Japanese industry and business.
During the visit, Mr. Maran will try to woo Japanese industry and business to invest in the Indian textile sector too. Recalling the slogan of “come to India, set up manufacturing units in India, sell in India and make money,” which he had successfully adopted to get foreign direct investment into the IT and telecom sector when he was the Union Minister for IT and Telecom, he pointed out that 100 per cent FDI (foreign direct investment) was allowed in the textile sector. “There is a huge scope for Japanese investments to update spinning, weaving, processing and garmenting facilities”.
To a question raising doubts about the investment climate in India, he pointed out that several foreign companies, including Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Samsung, and Nokia have set up units in India and they were doing fine.