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Apparel Exports Up 14% In April

Date 14-May-2014
Subject Apparel Exports Up 14% In April

Showing clear signs of a revival, apparel export has registered an impressive growth rate of over 14% in the first month of this financial year. The statistics, recently made public by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) in Gurgaon, show that the export sector rebounded in double-digit growth in the month of April, having brought off business deals of over $1.3 billion.

"For April 2014-15, the garment sector grew by 14.33%. The Indian garment manufacturing sector has the highest potential and it needs to increase competitiveness to provide a further boost to apparel exports from India," said Virender Uppal, chairman, AEPC.

The current growth pattern, according to industry analysts, seems counter-intuitive, given the rapid depreciation in value that the rupee has undergone. Factors like increasing labour costs in China and non-compliance with labour laws by manufacturers in Bangladesh have played a part in this recent turnaround. "But to capture the market space left by these countries we have to be competitive when it comes to pricing, we have meet stricter deadlines, and deliver better quality to buyers. And for this active support by the government agencies is crucial," Uppal said.

The industry has put forward a number of demands. Certain 'inhibiting factors,' related to complicated export procedures and high production costs, need to be resolved, industry representatives say.

The other cause for worry for the export sector is the strengthening of the rupee on the foreign exchange market. "While the export figures for the month of April were good, the RBI must ensure that the domestic currency does not become too strong because of the hot money pursuits on the stock market. This is the right time for the RBI to buy dollars and build forex reserves," said Anupam Shah, chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council, India.

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