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INDIA LOSING EDGE IN EXPORTS… If we look at last year’s apparel export figures is chastening. China exported $145 billion, Bangladesh $36 billion, Vietnam $33 billion and India a mere $17 billion. India is far behind China and steadily losing to smaller countries. The biggest reason is India’s near absence from the main product category that accounts for 70% of world trade in apparels – synthetic apparels. Unsurprisingly, synthetics have overtaken cottons and become favourites of the fashion industry. Indian units still run only six months a year to produce cotton apparels. In the remaining six months, most units are shut or run at a low capacity as they do not have orders for synthetics/ winter wear. Also, a factory that runs only six months a year still has to pay the full year’s fixed costs – rent, salary for minimal staff, interest on loans, etc. This makes anything made in the factory expensive. So is it only the product category working on which will bring results for India, I don’t think so. As combination of technology, efficiency, product mix and cost is what drives a business and this holds true for garment exports also. While favourable policies support the business it is also calculations made on basis of all expenses and also have combination of all mentioned above.

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