Modi says India is amongst most attractive global investment destinations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the Textiles India 2017 Exhibition, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on June 30, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the Textiles India 2017 Exhibition, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on June 30, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India, which was being described as a bright spot in the global economy, had emerged as one of the most attractive global investment destinations, thanks to a series of sustained policy initiatives by the Government.
"More than seven thousand reforms have been implemented to improve the ease of doing business. Processes have been simplified and made transparent. Government has repealed over twelve hundred outdated laws. These are just a few examples," he told a gathering at Mahatma Mandir here after inaugurating Textiles India 2017, the country's first ever mega textiles trade fair.
Urging industrialists and businessmen from around the world to invest in the textiles sector in India, he said India had moved up by 32 places in the last two years in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, the highest for any country. 
"India moved up 19 places on the World Bank Logistics Performance Index of 2016. We have also moved up 16 places on the Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2016. We are third among the top ten FDI destinations listed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development," he said.
Mr. Modi said that, based on the Make in India initiative, the organized textile industry was being infused with the mantras of ‘skill, scale, speed’ and ‘zero-defect, zero-effect’ for scaling up employment, production and exports. 
"We have one of the most liberal investment policies for foreign investment in the textile and apparel sector. We allow 100 percent FDI through automatic route in textile and apparel sector," he said.
He said the textiles industry had a pivotal position in the Indian economy. 
"It is strong and competitive across the value chain. India has an abundant supply of raw material, like cotton, wool, silk, jute, and man-made fibre. In fact, it is the world’s largest producer of cotton and jute, and second largest producer of silk and man-made fibre. This provides us the distinct advantage of backward integration, which many other countries may not have. In addition, India has strong spinning, weaving, knitting and apparel manufacturing capacities. Young, skilled labour is available at a reasonable cost," he said.
"Our high economic growth has resulted in higher disposable income. The resulting higher demand for products offers a huge domestic market. Ours is a nation of aspirational youth, who wish to spend on textiles, apparel, and handcrafted lifestyle products. The domestic market for apparel and lifestyle products, currently estimated at US dollars 85 billion, is expected to reach US dollars 160 billion by 2025. This growth will be driven by the rising middle class," he said.
Mr. Modi said there was also a high global demand for textiles and apparel manufactured in the country.
He said India is the world’s second largest exporter of textiles, commanding a global share of around five percent. Indian textiles, including traditional handloom and handicraft products, are exported to more than a hundred countries. 
He said the textiles sector offered significant employment opportunities, being the second largest employer after agriculture. Over 45 million people are employed directly in the sector, and over 60 million people are employed in allied activities. 
Mr. Modi said an integrated skill development scheme was also being implemented to address the critical gap of skilled manpower, through industry-oriented training programs. 
"Our strengths in manufacturing and export are backed up by our ability to develop world-class training and research institutes. The National Institute of Fashion Technology has a network of sixteen professionally managed campuses. It has been playing a crucial role in benchmarking performance and processes in the areas of fashion education, research and development, training and consultancy. 
"In the last few years we have witnessed a very healthy competition amongst States to attract investment and industries in their respective States. As a result, there have been some major reforms that have taken place in States. Each State in its own way has tried to facilitate the establishment of new industries including textiles. I think, the time has now come for us to concentrate on textile exports in a big way. 
"India is a country with diverse culture, fashion and traditions. This diversity is clearly reflected in the clothing present in different regions. We should catalogue and map our clothing diversity and clearly earmark strengths and specialties of each state or region. Each State should appoint nodal officers dedicated to a few well-known products, who would facilitate producers and traders across the value chain. The intervention should start from production to export of garments. It should meet the specific requirements of domestic as well as export markets," he said.
The Prime Minister underlined the need to formulate an action plan to study and map the requirements of people in large global markets and monitor new trends in fashion and textiles in these areas on a real time basis. "Government Councils and Industry Bodies should rise to the occasion, in a spirit of cooperation. This would enable us to channelize our energies in meeting those requirements and give a boost to our exports," he said.
"Innovation and research are new mantras for growth and wealth generation. The textile industry will have to constantly innovate and research for growth and to tap new markets. For example, physiques may be larger in some parts of the world. This may require clothing of greater width than the normal size used in our country. For this, you may need to increase the width of the loom. Elsewhere, requirements may be different. Such attention to detail is necessary to attain leadership in export markets. 
"Today, there is a demand for products with zero carbon footprint. Holistic lifestyle has become a buzzword. The market for Organic Dyes, clothes and fabrics made of organic products is growing. Our effort should be to innovate in organic products. 
"Apart from cotton and jute, we already have fabrics made of banana and bamboo fibres. There is a niche market for such products. Thus, there is a need for further research by our institutions like National Institute of Fashion Technology and Scientific and Industrial Research institutes to develop fabrics from other sources," he said.
"Our integrated textile clusters are compliant to global standards of environment and health safety. Textile producing States also have pro-industry policies in place, to facilitate the required infrastructure for investments in textiles," he said. 
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said participants from 106 countries, 15,000 Indian buyes and sellers, 2,500 international buyers, artistans and weavers are participating in the exhibition.
Those present on the occasion included Gujarat Governor O. P. Kohli, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, and Ministers and senior officials from several states.
Also present were US Polo Association President David Cummings, UK-India Business Council CEO Richard Heald, Arvind Mills Managing Director Sanjay Lalbhai, Raymond Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and Korea Federation of Textile Industries Chairman Kihak Sung.


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