The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) on Friday said that domestic exporters should aim to grow India’s share in Colombia’s total apparel imports by focusing on high-value-added products. Speaking at an online event on ‘India-Colombia Synergies in Apparel and Textiles’, AEPC Chairman Narendra Goenka said that India’s share is only 3.2% in Colombia’s global apparel imports. “We are looking at escalating this to some respectable figure in double digits. We are focusing on higher-value and specialized products like man-made fiber (MMF) apparel, medical and technical textiles,” he said.

According to the council, though there has been a fall in imports of readymade garments (RMG) in Colombia, Indian RMG exports have been able to maintain their share in the Colombian market.
While Colombia’s RMG import from the world fell from USD 652 million in 2019 to USD 408 million in 2020, India’s share in Colombia’s total apparel imports remained the same at 3.2% with USD 21 million in 2019 and USD 13 million in 2020, it said. Goenka said that the Indian apparel sector offers a large opportunity for investment.

“Colombian investors can also set up manufacturing facilities in India directly or through joint ventures, and partner with us in building R&D, innovation, and incubation centers in India,” he said.

The textiles sector has attracted FDI worth USD 3.75 billion from April 2000 to March 2021. Speaking at the event, Indian Ambassador to Colombia Sanjiv Ranjan said over a period of time, the popularity of Indian garments and textiles in Colombia has been increasing especially among women and this is an added advantage. “Concerted efforts would be required to reach the pre-pandemic level of exports of about USD 22 million,” he said.

Cristhian Salamanca, Executive Director, Colombia-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Indian companies are reliable partners with the Colombian firms. PTI RR MKJ.