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Southern States - Tamil Nadu

Prospects looking up for hosiery exports

By Our Special Correspondent

Coimbatore March 26. The South India Hosiery Manufacturers' Association (SIHMA) is confident that hosiery exports will become buoyant in the near future.

The president, Mohan P. Kandaswamy, pointed out that there had been a slump in the textile imports by the U.S. following the attack on the World Trade Center in New York last September.

This resulted in a virtual global economic recession. Consequently, the orders for the Indian exporters plummeted.

However, during the current year, a number of importers in the U.S., involved in retailing garments, expressed their inclination for placing orders with the Indian companies.

One of the major retail chains in the U.S. opened a centre in Bangalore for purchasing garments. ``This proved to be the green signal for the Indian exporters.''

In a release, Mr. Kandaswamy said the Indian exporters were hopeful of playing an important role, especially in the U.S. market, after the removal of the quota system in 2004.

Similarly, it was obvious that some of the major U.S. companies had been making higher garment purchases from India. During the current week, the retail and the department stores started functioning ``as usual'', a clear signal for ``smooth sailing'' by the Indian exporters.

Mentioning that the Indian exporters received orders for the autumn season ``more than what they expected'', Mr. Kandaswamy observed that inquiries had started coming in for the spring and summer season orders. However, due to the ``unstable'' market, the Indian exporters were unable to bargain much. On the other hand, the U.S. retailers were expecting a 10 to 15 per cent reduction in prices.

The SIHMA had learnt that a large number of orders from the EU countries such as France and Germany were likely to be given to Indian entrepreneurs. ``As there is a lot of demand, a substantial number of orders have already been received.'' The impact could be felt during May-June this year.

He expressed the hope that the Indian exporters would be able to get the rates on a par with the Chinese.

Explaining this contention, he said as China had joined the WTO, it had to comply with the WTO rules and regulations.

Hence, it would not be possible for it to give very low wages. Then it would prefer to go in for only high-value garments.

This would bring about certain changes in the China's entry into the global market, which would prove beneficial to India.

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