India insists on duty-free access for its textile exports in its free trade agreements (FTA), according to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, and will reach the $100 billion textile export objective by 2030.

“The UK FTA, for example, has 9-12% import duties on different items. If that goes away, it will certainly give a big boost to our textile industry,” he said at the two-day textile conclave in Varanasi coinciding with Kashi Tamil Sangamam.

In the textiles sector, he said, margins of 4-5% are important to become competitive.

“With the FTAs, we insist that we get duty free access for textiles and in both UAE and Australia, the textile sector assures me that there are opportunities for both. We are working on other FTAs that will help the textile sector,” he said, adding that the agreements will give a big boost to the sector.

India has previously put into effect an FTA with the UAE and is currently discussing one with the UK. Beginning on December 29, the FTA with Australia will be in effect.

Goyal stated that 18 bids for Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) parks have been received from various states and will be finalised during the Parliamentary session.