At a recent textile conference held in Ahmedabad-Gujarat India, textile experts from India and abroad endorsed the state of Gujarat as one of the most investment friendly destinations in the country.
The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) organized a well-attended one-day conference Textile Investment Conclave on February 11. The conference discussed and showcased Gujarat as a destination for investments in the textile industry.
Mr Prem Malik - Chairman of CITI who gave the welcome address said, Gujarat is an investor friendly state. And although, Gujarat has a one-third share in national cotton output, most of the cotton is sent to other states or exported, so there is a need to process more cotton in the state, thereby adding value and employment.
He welcomed the new and attractive textile policy unveiled by Gujarat, which has a potential to attract large investments in the state and urged domestic and foreign investors to harness the great opportunity presented by the Gujarat government.
Mr Giuseppe Gherzi of Switzerland based Gherzi Consulting Engineers who had done thorough research said, India needs to attract FDI investments mainly at the end of the textile value chain like garmenting and technical textiles, which do not need very high investments. FDI in manmade fibres, particularly specialty fibres is also one area which needs investment. He also called for faster Indian government approvals in approving FDI and relaxing labour laws.
Speaking on Gujarat, he said availability of raw material, a skilled labour force, efficient infrastructure, product innovation, low cost factor, etc, placed it among the well placed destinations for investment in India. As an outsider, I see Gujarat has all unique features of several entities pulling together like OEMs, entrepreneurs, textile research institutions, responsive state government among others. These are the same factors which have helped Germany emerge in the forefront of innovation in textiles.
Mr Kamal Dayani, Industries Commissioner Govt of Gujarat was of the opinion that the need of the hour was to add value to the cotton produced in the state, rather than exporting it, which was also the main objective behind framing the state Textile Policy. He said that the policy is very investor friendly, which has taken care to see that equal weightage is given to all the segments within the textile value chain. Post the announcement of the textile policy, 10 Textile Parks which include spinning, weaving and even processing have been given approval and are expected to attract huge investments, he said.
Technical textiles have also found a pride of place in the policy he stated. Towards that end, ATIRA and MANTRA, which are Gujarat based textile research organizations, have been named Centres of Excellence. We are expecting around Rs 35,000-40,000 crore investment in the Gujarat textile industry in the next four to five years, he added.
In his inaugural address, Mr Saurabh Patel, Minister of Energy & Petrochemicals Govt of Gujarat called the Gujarat Textile Policy among the most aggressive among all announced in India. This will help Gujarat turn into the biggest textile hub in India and will help concentrate all textile processing activities within the state.
He said, The objective of the Textile Policy is to process each and every kilogram of cotton produced in the state and will not stop at spinning and weaving alone, but will extend to garmenting also, which has the potential to generate the maximum employment at a very low investment.
Gujarat will also set up industrial training institutes to ensure that industries do not run short of skilled manpower. Towards that end, it looked forward to a public-private partnership, under which spinners will be provided all help from the Industrial Training Institutes in the state.
With its good infrastructure and ports, Gujarat was the ideal state for export activities at a minimum cost, since 33% of all exports were made from ports in Gujarat, he added.
He concluded by reminding the delegates that Gujarat is an electricity power surplus state and that subject to efficiencies and good management, the benefits provided under the Gujarat Textile Policy will far outweigh the investments made by the entrepreneurs, by the end of the concession period.