The Indian textile industry is happy with the initiative taken by the Ministry of Textiles (MoT), in conveying to the Commerce Ministry, to pursue and conclude a limited trade deal with the UK that includes textile and clothing products.
As per media reports, MoT has put its weight behind an early limited Free Trade Deal between India and the UK which, it says, must include tariff reduction for textile and clothing items, resulting in possible gains for the sector.
“The textile & clothing industry is very keen that India should sign an early Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK as a duty-free regime would be beneficial in creating a level playing field with other competing nations,” said, Manoj Patodia, Chairman, TEXPROCIL (The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council).
It is pertinent to mention here that the UK is one of India’s largest trading partners amongst the European countries in the Textile and Clothing (T&C) sector accounting for almost 24 per cent of the T&C products exported from India to the EU region.
With the UK signing trade agreements with 62 countries by 1 January 2021 including competing countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, it becomes all the more imperative for India to conclude the limited trade deal without any delay as India stands to lose market share.
The proposed visit of the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Truss provides an opportune moment for discussing the ‘limited trade deal’ which can get further cemented during UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s likely visit to India in April.