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Thursday, Sep 25, 2003

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Cotton textile exports up 8 pc

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Sept. 23

EXPORTS of cotton textiles in 2002-03 reached Rs 15,831.39 crore compared with about Rs 14,655 crore in the previous year. This represented an 8.03 per cent growth according to data released by the DGCI&S.

In dollar terms, the growth rate is marginally lower at 6.6 per cent, with a performance of $3,280.44 million against $3,076.90 million. All the product groups, such as cotton yarn, fabrics and made-ups, showed positive growth with made-ups registering the highest growth at 14.9 per cent.

According to Mr Lalit Desai, Chairman, Texprocil, speaking at the council's 49th AGM, the trend of rising made-ups exports augured well for the country and indicated a shift in the production base from raw materials to value-added products. He said that post 2005, the major challenge for developing countries would be adjusting to a free trade regime.

However, there were major changes already visible, such as a shift in production capacity to low-cost countries, falling international prices, increasing preferences for outward processing trade by developed countries, emergence of preferential trading arrangements and increasing dominance of retailers in the world trade.

He cautioned that the `zero-for-zero' tariff regime by 2015 would have to be examined carefully in view of its far-reaching impact on the livelihood of millions employed in the sector.

Mr Desai also pointed out that developed countries such as the EU and the US had become protectionist and that the intefraton process guiding the phase out of quotas had become severely backloaded. Almost 85 per cent of the restrictions will remain in force until the end of 2004.

He expressed concern over the increasing resort to anti-subsidy investigations and anti-dumping action. He said the trends in investigation were sending disturbing signals and was felt to impose new forms of restraints on imports of textile products after the removal of quotas in 2005.

He said improvements were needed in the disciplines and procedures relating to Regional Trading Arrangements so that trade was enhanced and not distorted.

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