Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received an appeal from the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) to restart the held up negotiations with the European Union (EU) to formalise a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) urgently. Resuming talks would help double garment exports to EU in the next three years and create more jobs.
TEA’s President Dr A Sakthivel has written to the PM stating that the EU is a traditional market for India's garment exporters, which comprises of 43 per cent of total garment exports from India. The garment sector exported readymade garments (RMG) worth $16.82 billion in 2014/15, out of which garments worth $7.16 billion were exported to the EU, he said. There is still potential to boost exports to the EU once a level playing field is provided to the sector, which can be double of what it is now in the next three years, from the existing US $7.16 billion, Sakthivel added.
He explained that with more exports to the EU, more employment will get created in the domestic market, mainly women workers and semi-literate workers from rural areas. He mentioned that being compliance oriented units, TEA is confident that the Indian RMG sector has an advantage over other competing countries and that India's market share would rise significantly once FTA is implemented.