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Thursday, 7 November 2019

Not joining RCEP! Indian textile and apparel industry thanks Government

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Indian textile and apparel industry is elated over Indian Government’s decision to not join Regional Comprehensive Economic Program (RCEP).

And all this happens while the other 15 countries involved in negotiations for the mega trade pact said that they are ready to sign the deal next year.

Industry believes that it is a very thoughtful decision, especially considering that economic situation of many countries have drastically changed since the initiation of negotiations.

Time and again, textile manufacturers and exporters have cautioned against opening up the domestic market for China under the RCEP.

During the RCEP Summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his conscience would not permit him to let India join RCEP. Despite India’s refusal, RCEP will remain world’s largest trade pact.

The Government was facing intense domestic opposition to RCEP, out of concerns that an influx of cheap Chinese goods would decimate its infant industries.

Thanking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani tweeted, “Your decisive leadership and determination to always put Nation first is reflected today in India’s stand on RCEP. Indian textile industry is grateful for your intervention & support.”

Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) commented, “RCEP was always going to be a double edged sword – with some industries gaining and others suffering. Even within the textile value chain, some would have benefited and some would have lost.”

He further said “CMAI believes the Prime Minister has taken the right call given the present precarious position industry – especially the textile industry – is in. CMAI compliments the Government for taking a step which will bring relief to thousands of small manufacturers and traders.”

The CMAI President also averred that ultimately industry has to learn to stand on its own and face competition. It is the responsibility of the Government, the Industry Associations, and industry itself, to create the right policy framework, the appropriate platform and the will to evolve to reach that state. “For the moment, it is ‘Thank you Prime Minister’ from CMAI,” he said.

Sanjay Jain, MD, TT Ltd. is of the view, “We are happy that we didn’t bow down and agree to RCEP as it is. It could have especially devastated our MMF (man-made fibre) segment. We are thankful to the Government.”

The RCEP accounts around US $ 50 billion of global trade of MMF, which is around 30 per cent of its total value.