Bringing the largest number of international buyers and apparel exporters under one roof, the 45th edition of India International Garment Fair (IIGF) was inaugurated by Rita Menon, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India on July 12. The three day event is organised by Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) at the India Exposition Centre, Greater Noida.
Addressing the media, Menon said, “We are lucky to have almost all fibres in our country. We have a strong textile industry and an event like this is a melting pot of what is happening in our country.” She also said that India`s strength is not in just weaving or spinning, it is the value chain and the commerce ministry is doing its best to strengthen it.
Speaking on the performance of the industry, Premal Udani, Chairman, AEPC said, “We are optimistic to cover $12 billion target this year. Indian industry is ready and should the right conditions prevail in the European markets, the target may cross $12 billion. Exporters are optimistic and bullish. With the prevailing labour crisis in China, the world feels it is better to source from a country like ours that is good and thorough in value chain.”
He said that the Indian exporters are targeting three markets – South Africa, Japan and Latin America.
“The apparel exporters have an ambitious target of US$15 billion in exports by year 2011-12, even though last year’s exports at US$10.64 billion were slightly down by 2.64 percent. Each US$1 billion in exports requires an input of 36 million man-hours of work and the attendant demand for raw materials, accessories and logisitics creates vibrancy in the entire ecosystem,” added Udani.
“With the improving global outlook, we are certain that the 45th IIGF will provide the much needed fillip to apparel exporters to take this year’s exports to over US$12 billion,” added Lalit Thukral, Convenor, International Garment Fair Association.
The apparel export industry provides employment to 3.5 million workers directly and another 3 million indirectly. AEPC organises IIGF in association with the International Garment Fair Association (IGFA), the Garment Exporters Association (GEA), the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), the Apparel Exporters and Manufacturers Association (AEMA) and the Apparel and Handloom Exporters Association (AHEA).
The exhibition stalls of various apparel exporters are spread over four large halls measuring 15,000 sq meters, with over 300 national participants from the length and breadth of India including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Mumbai. On the lines of such fairs internationally, IIGF has been divided into different sections – fashion accessories, menswear, childrenswear, womenswear and knitwear – which are further divided into casual wear and city wear, high fashion and occasional wear, lingerie, specialty garments, sportswear, besides accessories and fashion jewellery.
Business was in the air on Day 1 of the IIGF. Buyers both domestic and international were seen hovering around the stalls, checking out collections and making deals. The 15,000 sq meters of area was well organised and completely air-conditioned given the heat in the region at the moment. There were some buyers though, who weren`t very happy with the registration process and their not-so-recognisable photographs. However, many international buyers were happy to find so many exporters under one roof with products in various ranges and categories.
Some Indian exporters complained that the buyers were being selective, and most visited only the big stalls. They however, were optimistic for big deals in the coming two days. There were also concerns about foreign buyers not coming to IIGF owing to the International Fashion Weeks around this time of the year.