Under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the ministry of textiles has taken several measures for the development in the Textile Sector during the last three years – core objectives being technology up-gradation, infrastructure development, skill enhancement as well as welfare of workers, weavers and artisans. Being one of the major industries in the country, the focus is also shifting towards expansion in the Technical Textile Sector.

Currently estimated at around $108 billion, the Indian Textile Industry is expected to reach $223 billion by 2021, while textile and apparel exports from India are expected to increase to $82 billion by 2021. Within its efforts to achieve sustainable development and exponential growth in the sector, the Government had approved a special package for the garments sector in June 2016 – to create 10 million new jobs, additional investments of about $11 billion and extra exports of $30 billion in three years. The textile ministry is now planning a package for the knitwear sector which is still struggling to cope with outdated technology and lack of automation, resulting in lower productivity than countries like China.

Technical textiles (materials used for their technical performance and functional properties) is the latest hot topic that is gaining traction as the sector is already amongst the fastest growing areas in the Indian Textile Industry. Textile Commissioner Kavita Gupta refers to the sector as a thrust area for the Government because of the value addition involved. The Government wants to promote investments in automobile, geo, medical, industrial, eco, agro, packaging and protective textiles – which are among the range of technical textiles produced in the country. As per Government reports, especially geo textiles will expect a considerable amount of FDI .

Though the use of Technical textiles is expanding globally, India comprises only 4% of the global technical textiles exports and 3% imports. Post the Technotex 2017 Exhibition held in this April, Textiles Commissioner Kavita Gupta is expecting joint ventures and foreign investments in manufacturing of technical textiles and machinery. Technical textiles like home textiles and clothing textiles are also eligible for benefits under the special package that was announced last June.

A recent report by Future Market Insights’ projects that the world’s largest market for technical textiles will be Asia-Pacific during the forecast period, 2017-2027. While the global market for technical textiles is projected to grow at a value CAGR of 4.6%, the Asia-Pacific market will experience a value CAGR of 6.8%. The demand is likely to be highest in countries such as India and China.

The Textile Industry suffered in the last fiscal mainly due to competition from countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Also demonetization and a reduced demand from markets like USA, Europe and China affected the industry. The garment exports target set for FY2017-18 is $45 billion – which is a 17% rise from the $38.6 billion achieved in FY2016-17. Though the industry exports majorly to US and Europe, the focus would also increase on tapping opportunities in other markets. The Textiles Committee of India and Japan Textile Products Quality and Technology Centre had signed a MoU in November 2016 to better understand the Japanese textile quality requirements which is a prerequisite to increase exports to Japan. India currently accounts for only 1% textile exports to Japan and is behind China (65%-70%) and Bangladesh (7%).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the first ever global B2B Textile and Handicrafts event in India this June. ‘Textiles India 2017‘ will provide a platform to connect and collaborate with global manufacturers, investors and buyers in the textiles sector and demonstrate PM Modi’s dream of building a global supply chain – “from farm to fibre, fibre to factory, factory to fashion and fashion to foreign”. The event is expected to draw participation from around 25 countries. The ambition is to portray India as a global sourcing hub and investment destination; exploring growth potential of technical textiles; and carving a niche market globally for handcrafted goods. Roadshows were held in six countries – the UK, US, China, Russia, South Korea and UAE to attract potential investors. Work is ongoing on the National Textile Policy and the ministry expects it could be taken up in July after the Textiles India event.

Prospects of the Indian Textile Industry look promising and many efforts are being made by the Government for the progress of the sector as the country still lacks innovations. This is where the opportunity lies for international investors with modernized technologies to support sustainable growth. Investments are expected to continue to grow steadily due to the favorable ecosystem.

To read the latest news on the Textile Industry in India click Textile Newsletter.