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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the time is right for India to focus on textiles exports in a big way, and urged states to take steps to promote clothing diversity in the global market.
"I think, the time has now come for us to concentrate on textiles exports in a big way. India is a country with diverse culture, fashion and traditions. This diversity is clearly reflected in the (variety of) clothing culture present in different regions," he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 'Textiles India 2017' seminar at Mahatma Mandir here.
"We should catalogue and map our clothing diversity and clearly earmark strengths and specialities of each state or region. Each state should appoint nodal officers dedicated to a few well-known products, who would facilitate producers and traders across the value chain," Modi said.
He said the intervention should start from production level right through to the export of garments and should meet specific requirements of domestic as well as export markets.
"We should formulate an action plan to study and map the requirements of people in large global markets and monitor new trends in fashion and textiles in these areas on a real time basis," the prime minister said.
He stressed on innovation and research in textiles for the industry to grow and tap new markets.
The NDA government has taken several steps to boost textiles industry, which is the second largest employment generating sector after agriculture.
"Ours is a nation of aspirational youth, who wish to spend on textiles, apparel, and handcrafted lifestyle products," Modi said.
"The domestic market for apparel and lifestyle products, currently estimated at USD 85 billion, is expected to reach USD 160 billion by 2025. This growth will be driven by the rising middle class," he said.
He also said that the government's industry-friendly initiatives like repealing of 1,200 "outdated laws" and carrying out 7,000 reforms have resulted in India becoming a preferred investment destination.
"India has moved up by 32 places in the last two years in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum. This is the highest for any country. India moved up 19 places on the World Bank Logistics Performance Index of 2016.
"We have also moved up 16 places on the Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2016. We are third among the top 10 FDI destinations listed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development," he said.
"The textiles industry has a pivotal position in the Indian economy. It is strong and competitive across the value chain. India has an abundant supply of raw material like wool, cotton, silk, jute and man-made fibre. In fact, it is the world’s largest producer of cotton and jute, and second largest producer of silk and man-made fibre," the PM said.
"This provides us the distinct advantage of backward integration, which many other countries may not have. In addition, India has strong spinning, weaving, knitting and apparel manufacturing capacities. Young, skilled labour is available at a reasonable cost," he added.
Besides Modi, Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani, Union Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta, Arvind Ltd CMD Sanjay Lalbhai, Raymonds Chairman Gautam Singhania, US Polo CEO David Cummins, among others, were present at the event.
Modi said India's high economic growth has resulted in higher disposable income which has resulted in more people willing to spend on products like textiles, apparel and handcrafted products.
"Our high economic growth has resulted in higher disposable income. The resulting higher demand for products offers a huge domestic market."
Earlier, Modi inaugurated India's biggest textile fair at Gadhinagar exhibition ground in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.