INDIAN SILK: JULY-AUGUST, 2017
Textiles India 2017: A stitch in time
While a tumult is brewing bit by bit (drop by drop) in the global textile pot, with smaller and new countries vying to nimble a larger share in the export pie on one hand and the giant like China finding it difficult to maintain its forte of the apparel export on the other, watching the trend go bearish, avenues open up wide for the countries with potentialities. The changing climate calls for tackling the situation with care and strategic move by the textile industry barons and the policy makers alike at home here. The need now for the industry is to introspect and realize its inherent strengths of, position it holds with respect to abundant availability of raw materials in the natural fibres including silk and cotton, which provides the country a distinct advantage over other countries; strong spinning, weaving, knitting and apparel manufacturing capacities; besides availability of young, skilled labour at a reasonable cost. We need to strengthen our infrastructure, look into the demands of the potential buyers, chisel our skills, and turn out our best to gain a larger share of the US, European Union markets, as well as the new markets in the Latin Americas. Incidentally, one need to keep in mind that the Indian textile export to Latin American countries in the last financial year, as per latest statistics, were higher than India's exports to many other countries. Textiles India 2017, held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from June 30 to July 2, 2017, aimed at laying emphasis on strengthening the entire Indian textile value chain, comprising the journey of Farm to Fibre, to Fabric, to Fashion and to Foreign, for better value realization so as to ensure higher income to farmers. It also sought to give an insight into the needs of each other partner to perform better. At the same time, we need to take necessary steps to channelize our resources focusing on innovation and research that are much needed for the growth of the sector and also catalogue, map and showcase our strengths and specialties, much needed to stay in the fray. Organization of the mega event at this juncture was indeed a stitch in time, providing a platform to the Indian textile industry to come together, and present its strength giving a holistic view, and to the global industry partners to come forward to invest in the new and vibrant India. The series of conferences and round tables organized, opened up challenges and opportunities in diverse segments of the textile sector, providing a platform to the experts who came out with some suggestions on pertinent questions. The recommendation to establish better linkages between the sericulture industry and the units involved in processing of silk by-product applications that emerged from the Round Table on Potential of silk byproducts, is sure to add value to various sericulture activities. Besides, the three Memoranda of Understanding signed by the Central Silk Board on sharing of advanced technology and exchange of genetic material with China; developing new designs, cluster-based as well as new handloom products in association with the select industry players for commercialization, aimed at overall development of Indian silk industry. We have miles to go, and this was one leap in that direction!