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COVID-19 – An opportunity for India to boost technical textiles market


COVID 19 An opportunity for India to boost technicalEngineered for definite functions, technical textiles are used in the agriculture, healthcare, defense, construction, aerospace, automobile and sports sectors. Global demand for technical textiles is growing at a CAGR of 4 per cent and is expected to reach $220 billion by 2025, says a report titled ‘Technical Textiles: The Future of Textiles,’ by Invest India.

India market to grow to $28.7 billion by 2020-21

As per the report, Asia-Pacific dominates the global technical textiles market with a 40 per cent share while North America occupies a 25 per cent share and Europe 22 cent. Reasons for Asia Pacific’s dominance include: rapid urbanization and technological advancements in its medical, automobile and construction industries coupled with ease of production, low-cost of labor and favorable government policies.

The report estimates Indian market for technical textiles growing at a CAGR of 12 per cent over the past five years. The industry contributesCOVID 19 An opportunity for India to boost technical textiles market about 0.7 per cent to GDP accounting for approximately 13 per cent of total textile and apparel market. Factors like easy availability of raw materials like cotton, wood, jute and silk along with a strong value chain, low cost labor, power and changing consumer trends have led to India’s strong growth in this sector. A baseline survey of the textile industry by the Ministry of Textiles predicts India’s technical textiles market will grow to $28.7 billion by 2020-21.

Government initiatives to increase growth rate

The report suggests, current consumption of technical textiles in India is 5 to 10 per cent against 30 per cent-70 per cent in some advanced countries. The government has introduced a National Technical Textiles Mission that aims to increase India’s average growth rate in technical textiles to 15-20 per cent besides increasing domestic market size to $40 billion-$50 billion by 2024. The mission will achieve this through market development, market promotion, international technical collaborations, investment promotions, and the Make in India initiative.

The Central government has also introduced initiatives such as allowing 100 per cent FDO in this sector under the automatic route. In 2019, the ministry launched 207 HSN codes to help monitor import-export data and provide financial support and other incentives to manufacturers. The ministry also organizes Technotex India, in association with FICCI.

Besides, the Centre has set up integrated textile parks, eight centers of excellence, and the Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme. In December 2019, it announced $1.4-trillion national infrastructure plan to develop projects in energy, road, railway, urban development, irrigation, and health sectors. The Textiles Ministry also aims to create an ecosystem model to develop mega textile parks for technical textiles besides upgrading existing 19 functional textile parks. It has suggested creating a special fund for R&D worth $13 million in technical textiles. It also proposes to form a National Centre of Research in Technical Textiles that would be tasked with monitoring long- and short-term research.

Industry standards and focus on skilling

The report also emphasizes on the need to establish industry standards and focus on skilling. It concludes by saying the overall development of infrastructure, coupled with the availability of skilled and low-cost labor, focus on research and development activities, and strong manufacturing capabilities make India an attractive investment destination. On its part, India needs to convert its COVID-19 crisis to an opportunity and facilitate better communication between the government and the industry.