New Delhi: India is looking to set textiles export target at USD 38 billion this fiscal, 12 percent higher the previous year, despite slowdown in the Western markets as the country opens new avenues for shipments.

"Though there is economic uncertainty in the US and Europe, growing demand in new markets like Latin America and Africa will help India's textiles exports."We are setting a target of USD 38 billion for this fiscal," a senior Textiles Ministry official said.

The US and European markets account for over 50 percent of the country's exports and facing economic slowdown.

Textiles export was about USD 34 billion in 2011-12, as against USD 26.8 billion in 2010-11.

Experts said, meanwhile, that there is a need to focus on ways to boost textiles shipments.

India's textiles export performance has continued to lag its global competitors in the last few years. It has a meager 4.3 percent share of the world market, compared to China's
28.3 percent.

"We need to focus on new markets like Latin America and Africa. Huge demand is there. We hope that our textiles exports would touch USD 38 billion this fiscal," Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) President Rafeeq Ahmed said.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said the combined effort of the government and exporters to explore new markets would "give better fruits" this fiscal.

"The Indian apparel industry is facing several challenges like labour, safety and health compliances in the global market. There is a need to focus on those issues to increase our competitiveness in the global market," Sakthivel added.

The Economic Survey 2011-12 too has said that India needs to diversify its export markets as its trading partners may resort to protectionist measures in the wake of global economic uncertainty.

According to estimates, the share of textiles and clothing as a percentage of the country's overall export basket decreased from 15.97 percent in 2004-05 to 8.9 percent in 2010-11.

The sector, which is the country's second largest employment generator after agriculture, employing 35 million people, was hit hard by the global economic slowdown.


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