Apparel exports in 2012-13 likely to be flat at $14b: AEPC
Feb 15 2013 , New Delhi
"Garment exports stood at about $14 billion in 2011-12. At the end of this fiscal, I think garment exports will arrive at the same figure as that of last year due to demand slowdown in western markets," Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said.
The government had fixed garment exports target at $18 billion for the current fiscal.
The US and Europe together account for over 65 per cent of the country's garment exports.
Sakthivel said: "The US market is picking up now. But, the demand is still sluggish in European market."
During April-December 2012-13, garment exports declined 8.5 per cent to over $9 billion.
During 2011-12, apparel exports grew about 18 per cent year-on-year to around $14 billion.
To reduce dependence on these traditional markets, exporters are marketing products by participating in trade exhibitions and holding road shows in new markets like Latin America and Russia.
"The new markets have started working for us. Exporters have already started getting orders from Japan, Israel, South America and South Africa," Sakthivel said.
To boost garment exports in the next fiscal, AEPC has demanded a cut in customs duty reduction on synthetic fabric and adequate availability of credit at affordable rates.
Besides, Sakthivel said, there is an urgent need to reduce customs duty to 5 per cent on synthetic/blended fabric.