The US ban on cotton import from China's Xinjiang region has opened up opportunities for Indian cotton garments to tap that market and boost exports, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said on Friday.
In January, the US had announced an import ban on cotton products from China's Xinjiang region over allegations of use of forced labour.
Sakthivel said AEPC has identified the top 20 cotton garment products exported by China to the US.
"We have shared the list with our members for them to fill the vacuum created in the US market after the ban. The US ban on import of cotton from China's Xinjiang region throws up opportunities for Indian cotton garments provided there is stability in raw material prices," he said in a statement.
However, he expressed concern over the volatile prices of cotton and cotton yarn that are affecting garment exports from India.
He requested the textiles ministry for policy initiatives like incentivising value-added exports and disincentivising exports of raw materials.
Sakthivel also suggested that the CCI (Cotton Corporation of India) should make available 70 per cent of the cotton to local manufacturers, helping increase value-added exports, investment and employment.
Further, he said apparel lines should be included in the early harvest deals being negotiated with the EU and UK.
"Compared to zero duty for apparels from Turkey, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan, Indian apparels face a duty disadvantage of 9.6 per cent in these regions. Other FTAs also need to be fast-tracked as well," he said.
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