The Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) has called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with European Union to facilitate an impetus to the growth of apparel exports from clusters such as Tirupur to EU countries.
A Sakthivel, president of TEA, pointed out that nations falling under the ambit of European Union were traditionally the strong markets for Indian apparel manufacturers. “Almost 42 per cent of the readymade garments exports from the country and 55 per cent of the exports from Tirupur are bound for EU nations and moreover, the business relations have improved with buyers in Europe in the recent years. Hence, the FTA could enhance the market potential for the exporters here,” he said. He further pointed out that Bangladesh, one of the main competitors of India in apparel exports, was enjoying the duty-free access to EU nations.
“In this context, India should expeditiously sign the FTA so that we can nullify the advantages presently held by Bangladesh,” the exporters said.
Due to this embedded advantage, Bangladesh was able to export garments worth $ 14.7 billion to EU nations during 2013-14 whereas Indian exports to the same region stood just at $ 6.22 billion for the period.
‘India should expeditiously sign the FTA so that we can nullify the advantages presently held by Bangladesh’