In a significant move to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contributions of Indian apparel exporters, Union Minister for Textiles, Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, presented the prestigious ‘AEPC Excellence Honours’ on December 8, 2023. The awards, spanning the years 2021-22 and 2022-23, were bestowed upon RMG exporters for their exceptional role in shaping the country's modern export enterprises and fostering a distinctive Indian export culture.
The highlight of the event was Minister Goyal's call for a remarkable expansion of textile exports, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of transforming India into a developed nation by 2047. Proposing the '40 by 30' initiative, Goyal urged collective efforts to elevate RMG exports from the current $16 billion to $40 billion, heralding a potential game-changer for the textile industry's future.
Addressing industry leaders, Minister Goyal emphasized the government's commitment to promoting exports through measures such as free trade agreements and the promotion of brand India. He urged apparel exporters to prioritize domestic raw material procurement over reliance on "opaque" foreign suppliers, cautioning against falling prey to "predatory pricing." Goyal stressed the need to strengthen the domestic supply chain to ensure the long-term health of the textile ecosystem.
Notably, Goyal commended the industry for its role in achieving a remarkable 55% growth in exports, totaling $776 billion in both merchandise and services over the last two years (2021-23). The event kicked off with a Focus Group Discussion on the '40 by 30' theme, addressing topics such as enhancing competitiveness, industry-academia linkages, exploring new frontiers with MMF, and ensuring compliance and sustainability.
During the Power Group Discussion, AEPC Chairman Naren Goenka expressed confidence that the next decade would be India's in textiles exports, attributing this optimism to increased international interest in India following China's exit and regional instability in neighboring countries. Goenka highlighted India's abundant raw material availability, positioning the country to cater to shorter lead times and remain resilient to global economic fluctuations.
Despite the sector's successes, challenges were acknowledged, notably the issue of poor economies of scale in Indian apparel. The event also saw discussions on the PM MITRA initiative, aimed at addressing industry concerns related to scale, investment, and infrastructure, with a proposed park spanning 1000 acres.
The awards ceremony recognized top exporters, with Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd. receiving the gold trophy for the highest global exports in 2021-22 and 2022-23, followed by Richa Global Exports Pvt. Ltd. and Arvind Limited. Dr. A Sakthivel, Chairman, President FIEO, received the Mentor of the Indian Apparel Industry award, and Shri Deepak Seth, Founder and Group Chairman of Pearl Global Industries Limited, was honored as the Icon of the Indian Apparel Industry.
Chairman AEPC emphasized the need for innovation, market expansion, sustainability, strategic partnerships, and empowering the workforce to achieve the ambitious $40 billion RMG export target.