Our Bureau

Chennai, April 5

POST-ATC (Agreement on Textiles and Clothing), the domestic textile industry is likely to attract large investments both from domestic and foreign sources.

The textile industry contributes 4 per cent of national GDP and 20 per cent of manufacturing value added. Yet, in terms of global opportunities, the industry has not tapped even the tip of the iceberg. Of the total global trade of $360 billion, India's share is only 3.5 per cent. To tap this huge global opportunity, the textile industry needs to restructure and enhance its competitiveness.

The Confederation of Indian Industry-Southern Region (CII-SR), in association with The Southern India Mills Association (SIMA), is organising "Comptex 2005 - Conference on "Sustainable global competitiveness of textile industry" on April 8 and April 9 in Coimbatore.

At a press conference, Mr Manikam Ramaswami, Chairman - sub-committee on textiles, CII-SR and Chairman and Managing Director, Loyal Textile Mills Ltd, said that the main objective of Comptex 2005 conference is to evolve a clear road map for the textile industry to sustain its global competitiveness and to position the southern region as a key driver of growth in making India a global leader in the textile sector.

The conference would deliberate on market driven models that would help the industry adapt quickly to competition and find sustainable strategies to attain global leadership position. The conference sessions would focus on key areas such as evolving a roadmap to promote the Indian handloom sector by focusing on skill upgradation of workers, brand building, marketing and creating niche and export markets.

The CII would also suggest the introduction of the Gurukulam system to keep the handloom weaving tradition alive. Mr Ramaswami said that young children could be taught the art of handloom weaving from master weavers beside a regular school curriculum. This would also ensure that these children are not exploited, he said.

Another area of concern is the adoption of innovative technologies in cotton cultivation, focus on contract farming, policies to facilitate micro credit to farmers for cultivation at a larger scale and access to information on high yield and high quality seeds to increase cotton yield.

Mr Ramaswami said that the CII would be forwarding a proposal to the Government to set up three shore-based sites for processing. He said that Cuddalore is one site and he urged the Government to create a special purpose vehicle to take the project forward.

The conference would also explore opportunities in "technical textiles" - the unexploited non-apparel markets both in domestic and overseas in industrial application, home textile and auto textiles.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 6, 2005)
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