A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed between the Textiles Committee under the Indian ministry of textiles and Japan’s Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre to support the textile trade and industry to ensure Japanese quality standards through testing, inspection, conformity assessment, training, capacity building, research and development and consultancy.

The virtual signing ceremony was presided over by textiles minister Smriti Irani and Yasumasa Nagasaka, Japanese state minister of economy, trade and industry.

Both the institutions have agreed to share and exchange relevant technical information and documentation on a regular basis and carry out activities relating to standards, quality assurance norms, joint research projects on testing, development of user friendly tools for dissemination of data to the industry and facilitate sourcing across the textile value chain from both the countries.

India and Japan signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011 which facilitates import of garments from India to Japan at zero duty. Despite CEPA, the growth in trade in textiles and apparel (T&A) between the two countries has been moderate, according to a press release from the Indian government.

Japan is the third largest importer of T&A in the world and India is the sixth largest exporter and there is huge untapped potential for trade which remains unharnessed, it said.

The Textiles Committee was established in 1963 by an act of parliament and is a statutory body to ensure quality of all textiles and textile products for domestic and export markets. The Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre is a leading testing and inspection organisation in Japan established in 1948.