All is not well in India’s garment manufacturing and exports. The country has seen almost one-fifth decline that is around 22.6 per cent between April and August 2023 as compared to the same period in 2022. Even textile manufacturers who generally do well regardless of the ups and downs in the RMG segment have seen a decline of around 2 per cent during this period.
The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) on the Index of Industrial Production for textiles and clothing have noted there was a slight 1.6 per cent improvement in textile production, although there was a cumulative index decline for April this year. In the RMG segment, there was a huge drop of 17.1 per cent in August 2023 and around 22.6 per cent during the whole of April- August 2023 period as against the same period last year.
Strict quality control, reduced production effect exports
Analysts attribute several reasons for the decline. The government’s recently imposed Quality Control Order which requires a Bureau of Indian Standards certification for man-made fibre including those that are imported. Most domestic textile manufacturers cannot source these raw materials as per government’s specifications from international markets due to higher prices and non-availability.
Also, many garment exporters have reduced workers’ shifts or cut down overtime production due to lack of orders and so there is production loss but no job loss. However, the recent drawback in duty hikes may help in reviving exports in a market that has been slow since mid-March. Also, apparel industry stakeholders are optimistic about high sales during Diwali and the wedding season. If current production trend continues longer, there will be more job losses for the lower and middle income groups.
Trade show to focus on Make In India initiatives
Optimistic that a global trade show could help uplift a slow economy, the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) will be hosting India's largest apparel brands show 'Brands of India' in Dubai from November 27 to 29. Hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) it will showcase latest collections of around 350 top Indian apparel brands.
With a large Indian expat population, the UAE has always been a big importer of Indian RMG across the Middle East and Africa region in 2022-23, with imports valued at over $1.21 billion. The same trend continues despite all odds, as India's RMG exports to the entire region reached $2.68 billion in the last fiscal 2022-23. Even in the first seven months of the current fiscal 2023-24, around $774.5 million has already been exported.
The tradeshow will showcase a wide range of Indian ethnic, western and fusion Wear across the men, women and children segments through around 275 stalls spread across 70,000 sq. ft. area at DWTC. Well known brands such as BIBA, Soch, Stori, Cover Story, Sin, Ancestry, Indifusion, Touch, Dollar, Gini and Jony, Rachna Udyog, Siyaram, A-La Mode, Nostrum and Body Mark among many others are some of the main participants at the show.
Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, CMAI says, aligned with the government’s Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives, the Brands of India show by CMAI represents a significant stride in offering the initial platform for both national and regional apparel brands to venture into international opportunities.
The Brands of India global event is expected to give a well-rounded umbrella of opportunities for Indian apparel brands to showcase their products to a global audience and explore new business opportunities.