According to a World Bank report, top four apparel producers in South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, have made big investments in world apparel trade and account for 12 per cent of global apparel exports. As per the report, at a time when nearly one million people are expected to enter the workforce every month for the next three decades, export-oriented apparel production in India and other South Asian countries has the potential to create more and better jobs.
The report ‘Stitches to Riches? Apparel Employment, Trade and Economic Development’, launched in New Delhi is aimed at demystifying the global and South Asian apparel markets, estimating the potential gains in exports and jobs, and identifying policies that can unleash South Asia's export and job potential compared with those of their closest competitors in the Southeast Asia region including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
As wages increase, China, the largest apparel manufacturer for the last 10 years, is expected to slowly relinquish its lead in the global apparel market, opening the door to other competitors. This could be a huge opportunity for India and other South Asian countries. Even a 10 per cent increase in Chinese apparel prices could create at least 1.2 million new jobs in the Indian apparel industry, the report stated.