´Acche Din´ for the Indian textile industry seemed to have come true, when the curtains came down after lively presentations and debates addressing an audience of over 400 on the second day of the 8th Asian Textile Conference (Atexcon), organised recently by the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) at the Westin Hotel in Mumbai. The one-and-a-half day conference had all the ingredients of a success story - from packed honchos of the textile industry, to the meaningful presentations covering right from fibres & yarns to fashion and technical textiles. Issues were discussed threadbare during the interactive presentations by the leaders from the industry. There was a happy departure from the usual rigid sermonising from the podium. It was this moderator-controlled open discussion that made the conference a grand success. Most of those, who sat through the entire sessions, left with head-shakes of approval and took with them enough food for thought.
Prem Malik, Chairman of the CITI, struck the keynote for the conference. He talked of challenges at a time when even small countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Sri Lanka have been aiming to capture bigger textile markets. He highlighted the importance of intra-Asia textile trade. ´India has a vibrant textile industry - from fibre to fashion. We need big investments and the industry must be integrated. The industry in Asia must look into this vast opportunity.´
P Anbalagan, Jt. Chief Executive Officer, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, disclosed statistics and figures to show how Maharashtra is today an attractive destination for investment in textiles. ´Maharashtra is the largest producer of cotton and accounts of one-sixth of the textile production in the country. MIDC is a leader among promoters of industry with a robust infrastructure. Textile has a dedicated zone, majority in western side with some parts in the eastern parts of the state. The state has 2,000 MLD of water supply for the industry. MIDC has about 81,000 hectares of land for industrial use and though textile clusters are there exclusively for the industry, the government is keen to develop the industry in other areas too.´
This was followed by an address by the Guest of Honour Kiran Soni Gupta, the new Textile Commissioner. ´Though China has ruled the world of textiles for the last 30 years, now there is a slowdown. Higher cost and depreciation of Chinese yuan have given that country some setback. Apart from EU and US, new markets are emerging and if the Asian countries come together, there is still a lot to capture.... The TUFS has been in vogue since 1999, and till today Rs 19,000 crore has been disbursed under and the results are there for all to see. We have every capability to be the best in the world.´
Next came the launch of the Textile Sector Skill Council (TSC) by Sujit Gulati, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles. TSC is a non-profit organisation set up under the aegis of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) with the membership of 14 associations and export promotion councils. The TSC will facilitate training programmes to impart state of the art knowhow for the workers in the textile industry.
Gulati spoke about the TUFS. ´Our industry depends on cotton and about 60 per cent of the industry outputs belongs to the cotton world. Man-made fibre needs to be given a boost since it can produce affordable clothing for the mass.... Rising cost of production is a big challenge today... Every country has its own advantage. Bangladesh has a full-fledged garment industry. India has a strong cotton base and other countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka have their unique advantages. All these countries should have mutual understanding of trade and use one another benefits to unique advantages.´
BK Patodia, Past Chairman of CITI, gave brief account of the current situation of the textile industry, particularly in Asia a