Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) celebrated 40 years of its inception at APEC Head office in Gurgaon with Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog as the chief guest for the event. Kant delivered the foundation day speech highlighting the importance of Indian apparel sector as a pivot for higher value addition and employment generation with very low capital investment.
Incepted in 1978 as a quota monitoring entity, AEPC today is one of the largest councils of the country. It is recognised worldwide as a powerful body for the promotion and facilitation of garment manufacturing and export from India. As a sponsored body under the Ministry of Textiles, it boasts of a strong membership base of 8300+ members.
In his address Kant said, “China has started moving out of the apparel sector and there is a huge opportunity for India. Today the wages in China are 2-3 times that of India and given the aging population of China, the cost of apparel manufacturing will continue to rise there. In such a scenario, the global suppliers will start looking at other avenues for sourcing. Countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam are having preferential access in European Markets and hence it is extremely important that we get the FTA with Europe ratified at the earliest.”
He said, as far as Indian apparel exports are concerned, India is heavily reliant on cotton and we need to see how we can move to man-made fibres which can help us to garner more global share. There has been a reduction in the benefits of the Industry post GST roll out and we are looking at ways through which we could bring it at par with the rates prevalent in the previous regime. For the benefit of the Industry central and state levies should be refunded and Government will work with The Industry to resolve this issue,” he added.
HKL Magu, Chairman, AEPC said, “AEPC’s well-timed initiatives and confidence to take calculated risks, braving all odds, perceptible across all circumstances, is the key fuel for the India's apparel export growth. As India is gearing up to move towards WTO-compatible, production-based subsidies from export-based subsidies, it becomes extremely important that we position India strongly as a responsible sourcing destination.”