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Sep 25, 2009

Textile sector needs to move up value chain


he Indian textile and clothing sector needs to move up the value chain, especially in apparels, to be competitive in the export market, T.C. Venkat Subramanian, Chairman and Managing Director of Export-Import Bank of India, said here recently.Inaugurating a CEO conference organised by the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), he said Indian units were losing their competitive edge in low-value apparel.

Most of the textile goods manufactured in the country were commodities–yarn, fabric and unbranded products – and, these were vulnerable to cyclical trends. Probably, the units would be able to improve their competitiveness if they were able to increase production and reduce the prices. “We have to cut costs, be energy efficient and rationalise many things to regain the lost markets,” he suggested. According to studies done by the bank, globally about 12 per cent of export volume was lost with the recession.

The United States and the European Union were major engines of global trade and these two markets should revive for exports to look up.These two markets were also the world’s major consumers of textile and clothing products.Nearly 38 per cent of India’s textile exports were to the U.S. and the European Union.Mr. Subramanian also urged the textile units to look at projects available overseas.He gave away SIMA Tchno Facts awards to 10 companies for their operational efficiency.

S.V. Arumugam, vice-chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, said the industry faced problems on all fronts – raw material, labour, finance and energy.The captive power project proposed by the SIMA a couple of years ago could be revived depending on the response from the members. The State Government was expected to issue guidelines soon enabling the industries in the State to purchase power from the power exchanges in Mumbai and Delhi.

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