A chunk of Indian textile industry believes that the renewal of trade talks with the European Union (EU) would lead to a substantial boost in exports in the coming days.
The negotiations towards India-EU Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) started in 2007 but got suspended in 2013 after 16 rounds of talks.
A decision to resume negotiations was a key deliverable of the Porto Summit on 8 May.
Manoj Patodia, Chairman, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) is of the opinion that resuming the long-pending negotiations will benefit the bilateral trade between India and the EU as it is the single largest region importing textile and clothing products in the world, accounting for US $ 131 billion last year.
It is pertinent to mention here that of the overall imports by Europe, India accounted for just 4 per cent while, enjoying zero duty tariff, Bangladesh accounted for about 11 per cent.
The average tariff applied on imports from India into the EU was about 9.6 per cent for textile and apparel items. Most of the importers in Europe are compelled to buy from other competing countries due to the big duty gap.
Industry believes that if duty-free tariff advantage is extended to India under the proposed broad based Trade and Investment Agreement, it will go a long way in increasing the export of textile and clothing from India to the EU trading block.
Manoj added that India has been unable to increase its market share over the years mainly over duty disadvantage compared to competing countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
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