The textile sector in India is the sixth largest exporter of textiles and apparels in the world. In FY 2020-21 there was a deceleration in textile exports due to pandemic disrupting the supply chain and demand. However, signs of recovery were visible in 2021-22 when a robust growth of approximately 52% in exports was registered over last year. The exports of Textiles & Apparel for the year 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 are $ 36,558 Mn, $ 33,379 Mn and $ 29,901 Mn, respectively. The export of Textiles & Apparel from April - December 2021 is $ 30449.85 million.

Even compared to pre-pandemic year i.e. 2019-20 export for textile sector (Textiles & Apparel including Handicrafts) increased by 14.6% from April- December 2021 as compared to April-December 2019. Textiles exhibited an increase in export of 31%, Cotton Yarn/ Fabrics/ Made-ups, Handloom products etc. exhibited an increase of 43% and Jute products exhibited an increase of 33% from April- December 2021 as compared to April-December, 2019.

India's annual textiles exports is expected to rise to $ 100 Bn in the next five years from the current $ 40 Bn. This will be a testimonial to the growing partnership between government and exporters for propelling India’s growth story. Ministry of Textiles has adopted a holistic development model supported by infrastructure and cluster development, national technical textile mission, performance linked incentives and a zero-rated tax policy on exports to restore India’s pride in the global textile market.

Textile exports continued their healthy growth momentum across categories in March 2022. Key positive category was ready-made garment (RMG) with exports surpassing INR 13000+ crore mark for the first time in March 2022. Overall, India’s textile and apparel exports have surpassed the $ 40 Bn mark for the first time in FY22.

Indian apparel exporters, in the past couple of years, have witnessed strong customer interest owing to many large global retailers diversifying their sourcing and reducing dependence on a few countries. Indian companies are expected to have healthy order book for the next few years and are also steadily exploring opportunities to expand their garmenting capacities to capitalise on long term growth opportunities. Indian Ready-made garment exporters are well placed to capitalise on the opportunities from a shift in demand.

Key priorities for the apparel sector namely policy support for improving scales, product diversification, leverage the upcoming Free Trade Agreements, create new USPs based on sustainability and responsible business, use technology and AI for leaner supply chain, and better branding would further give a boost to exports.

This has been co-authored by Mishika Nayyar and Rajeshwari Chadha.

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