The 9th Asian Textile Conference (ATEXCON) organized by Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) on 14th March 2018 had a grand opening. The ﬂagship annual conference of CITI was attended by more than 350 delegates from India, Switzerland, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, etc. The attendees represented the entire breadth of textile manufacturing value chain, ancillaries as well as the services segment. The Conference was inaugurated by Dr. Kavita Gupta, IAS, Textile Commissioner, Government of India. The theme of the Conference was “Textile Industry: Moving Beyond the Conventional Paradigms”.
Dr. Kavita Gupta acknowledged and congratulated the textile and apparel industry for reaching to a level where they can leapfrog into a diﬀerent orbit. She highlighted the need to integrate MSMEs to achieve the inclusive growth of the sector. The highlights of her address were the brief history of Indian textile sector which spanned from the age of poet and weaver, Saint Kabir up to the state-of-the-art infrastructure being developed in Indian textile parks these days.
Mr. Sanjay K. Jain, Chairman, CITI in his opening remarks underlined the importance of being disruptive and innovative in order to maintain the vibrancy and energy in this sector. Mr. Jain also requested the government and industry to look for out of box solutions to resolve the long pending issues plaguing the textile and apparel sectors of the industry. Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors made the theme presentation. Mr. Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, Chairman & Managing Director, Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd. delivered the Special Address and Mr. T. Rajkumar, Deputy Chairman, CITI proposed the Vote of Thanks in the Inaugural Session.
CITI-Wazir knowledge paper was launched by Dr Kavita Gupta and CITI signed an MoU with MCX. By virtue of this MoU, the stakeholders of the textile industry would be imparted knowledge about the beneﬁts of cotton futures mainly focusing on cotton price volatility and the risk management through cotton futures, among working towards other important common goals.
The Conference featured four sessions on sub-themes related to Policy Support, Innovation, Global Value Chain and Retail. The sessions featured who’s who of the Indian textile and apparel sector, including private companies, industry associations & Export Promotion Councils, machinery suppliers, and other service providers.
The ﬁrst session titled “Policy Support to Achieve US$ 300 Bn. Market” was chaired by Dr. Kavita Gupta, IAS, Textile Commissioner, GoI and moderated by Mr. Sanjay K. Jain, Chairman, CITI. In this session, the need was highlighted for re-negotiation of India’s FTAs to get duty free access to certain markets, and revision of current duty drawback and ROSL schemes as incidence of taxes are not fully counterbalanced. It was also recommended that Government should increase import duties up to the pre-GST level to reduce threat to domestic manufacturers. Further, discussions proceeded on the need to develop manmade ﬁbre value chain in India to cater to the growing global demand of manmade textiles and apparel. Finally, it was also recommended that there should be a single platform for discussion of Central and State Textile policies which will aid in looking at the larger picture and in making appropriate decisions on the subsidies.
The second session titled “Innovation and Technological Development in Textile Manufacturing” was presided over by Mr. D. L. Sharma, Vice Chairman, CITI. The esteemed speakers delivered insightful presentations highlighting the current scenario of the industry, need-driven technological developments, core elements of textile 4.0, and implications for textile manufacturing industry. Additionally, topics such as eﬀects of GST in the sector, MMF ﬁbre and ﬁlament market, commodity trading system for cotton, Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), and long-term sustainability were touched upon.
The third session titled “Global Value Chain – Trade and Investment Perspective” was moderated by Mr. Prem Malik, Past Chairman, CITI. The lead presentation by Dr. Christian Schindler, Director General, ITMF, focused on the world textile and apparel industry, new disruptive technologies, geographical re-distribution across the industry and implications for the global textile and apparel industry. The eminent Panelists from various parts of the world deliberated upon the ever-evolving global trade landscape and country-wise standing and requirements for global textile and apparel trade to ﬂourish in the future.
The ﬁnal session titled “Retail in Textiles and Apparel – Emerging Scenario” was chaired by Mr. D.L. Sharma, Vice Chairman, CITI. The session was moderated by Mr. Prashant Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, Wazir Advisors. Eminent Panelists deliberated on the overall status of the Indian textile and apparel retail market, emerging trends and opportunities, key challenges faced by the industry in the retail supply chain, etc. It was concluded that the Indian retailers should focus on faster lead times, better product quality, product upgradation, new product development, improved service, and most importantly intensify collaboration across the value chain – ﬁbre to fashion.
ATEXCON was closed with concluding remarks and Vote of Thanks by Mr. D. L. Sharma, Vice Chairman, CITI, who appreciated the eﬀorts of CITI team and support of sponsors, speakers, partners, media & delegates which led to the grand success of 9th ATEXCON.