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Facing Challenges

Apparel exports struggle to reverse  subdued trend

Arbind Gupta

Garment exports from India continue to be under pressure. having registered a flat performance in 2016-17, this year (ended 31 March 2018) is not likely to see any improvement either. in fact, the exports are expected to witness a decline of 5-6 percent during the fiscal. data shared by apparel export promotion council (APEC) shows that India's garment exports during April-January (nine months) of 2017-18 was to the tune of about $13.78 billion – down 1.27 percent, compared to the corresponding period of the previous financial year. during April-January 2016-17, India's apparel exports stood at $13.96 billion. the government had set a target for overall apparel exports to touch $20 billion during 2017-18, as against the actual exports of $16.8 billion in 2016-17.

According to an ICRA report, while a transition to the new taxation and export incentive regime has posed liquidity challenges for the industry, intense competitive pressures in the global market, particularly in the light of the impending trade agreements and foreign currency movements, pose additional challenges for the industry.

“Our garment exports are facing challenges posed by both internal and external factors. there is a need for some concerted efforts to address these issues in a holistic manner,” says Rahul Mehta, president, clothing manufacturers association of India.

“The accommodative stance, taken by the government by way of upward revision in export incentives in November 2017, has addressed one of the issues the segment was facing,” says Jayanta Roy, senior vice-president & group head, ICRA. “however, sustainability of growth remains contingent on how the scenario on the other fronts pans out”.

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April 9-22, 2018

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