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India's AEPC urges government to review trade agreements to boost apparel exports

Published
Jul 14, 2020
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India's Apparel Export Promotion Council urges the government to revaluate its apparel trade agreements with countries including the UK and U.S., believing that the export industry has the potential to grow significantly.

The APEC is confident that Indian apparel exports can double if more favourable trade agreements are reached - Treadler/H&M Group


Reviewing India’s apparel trade agreements with the EU, UK, the U.S., Australia, and Canada would allow the government to remove blockages that are currently hindering India’s apparel export potential, the AEPC’s chairman, A Sakthivel, wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 13, Indo-Asian News Service reported.

Sakthivel predicted that Indian clothing exports could double in three years if disadvantageous agreements were to be ameliorated.

“An important area that can supplement your efforts in this direction is improving export competitiveness through a comprehensive review of India's trade agreements through a fast-tracked mechanism with EU, UK, the U.S., Australia, and Canada,” wrote Sakthivel, Indo-Asian News Service reported. 
 
Sakthivel also thanked the government for its measures taken to support the apparel industry during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. He shared that the industry has struggled especially due to disruption to trade with the UK and EU, which have also had their own lockdowns causing economic distress.

The AEPC asked the government to work towards having a level playing field with its competitor countries in terms of trade agreements. The letter suggested pursuing a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements with Australia and Canada.
 
“We assure you that our apparel exports will grow significantly through forging ties with strong and robust trade agreements as proposed,” wrote Sakthivel. “We anticipate that we will be able to increase our exports two-fold over the next three years with the support of the government under your dynamic leadership."

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