TEA Urges to PM to Resume FTA Talks with EU

TEA Urges to PM to Resume FTA Talks with EU

The Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resume the stalled negotiation with European Union to formalise a Free trade Agreement (FTA) urgently as it would help double the garment exports to EU in next three years and create more employment.

In a release issued today, TEA said its president A Sakthivel has written to Modi pointing out that the EU is a traditional market for India’s garment exporters, accounting for 43 per cent of total garment exports from India. He said the garment sector exported readymade garments (RMG) worth 16.82 billion US dollar in 2014-15, out of which garments worth 7.16 billion US dollar were exported to the European Union. He said there is still the potential to enhance exports to the EU once a level playing field is provided to the sector.

“The European Union market is playing a crucial role in garment exports and enhancement of our exports to EU will directly help for the creation of more employment in domestic market, mainly the women workers, semi-literate workers from rural areas after fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ concept. We could also double our exports to EU in next three years from the existing level of US 7.16 Billion US dollar”, Sakthivel said in his letter.

Being compliance-oriented units, TEA is confident that RMG sector will increase country’s market share significantly once FTA is implemented.

Sakthivel also pointed out that the devaluation of the yuan is helping Chinese garment exporters to increase their competitiveness in the EU. Another major competitor, Bangladesh, enjoys Duty Free status in the EU as an under developed country. Bangladesh has leveraged that concession to notch up garment exports to the EU worth 15.37 billion US dollar compared to India’s 7.16 billion US dollar.

He said Germany, a leading trading partner in the EU is also inclined to sign FTA with India and urged the Prime Minister to advice commerce ministry to resume the stalled negotiations with the EU for FTA.