The Karnataka Government is angling for global investments in the textile sector, especially for specialised industries such as hospitals, sports and infrastructure. Karnataka is home to 70 large and medium textile companies and more than 50,000 small units operate under the micro, small and medium (MSME) categories.
The textile industry occupies an important position in the industrial landscape of Karnataka by way of its contribution to industrial production, employment generation and export earnings. It is next only to the agriculture sector in terms of employment generation. Even though the textile sector contributes only 0.50 per cent to the GDP of the state, it is one of the sectors which have employed more than five lakh persons in the state.
Karnataka exports readymade garments to countries such as the US, the UK, Italy, Germany, Western Europe, Hong Kong, Turkey, Canada and Australia. Karnataka is keen to emerge as a leader in the technical textile industry (builtech, clothtech, hometech, meditech) concentrated primarily in Bengaluru. It is now spreading to tier II cities such as Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya, Kolar, etc. and Bengaluru is becoming the hubs of this sub-sector. The investment in the state so far amounts to Rs 1,480 crore. The main competitive advantage for Karnataka is the presence of a large pool of labour and the key raw material of cotton.