• CCI AD FROM 5th April 2021




Textile exhibition in Surat culminates, gives boost to industry

Around 23,000 people from different parts of the country attended the event, where 125 exhibitors from Surat exhibited different types of textile fabrics. The three-day Weaveknitt 2021 exhibition organised by the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) culminated on September 13, giving a boost to the textile industry as buyers from India and abroad had placed orders worth over Rs 100 crore. Around 23,000 people from different parts of the country attended the event, where 125 exhibitors from Surat exhibited different types of textile fabrics. Along with individual firms, buyers from 20 big textile mandis including Jaipur, Banaras, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai, and several international buyers from the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Dubai and China, also visited the exhibition seeking opportunities. SGCCI president Ashish Gujarati said, “Weaveknitt 2021 was our first initiative to give a platform to the weavers to display their products. Generally, a broker or a middle man does business between manufacturers and buyers. But this event directly benefited both parties. The products exhibited include Dola silk, Russian Silk, Tissue Silk, Pure Viscos Agronise silk, Muslin silk, Heavy cotton silk, Natural crepe, Chinon Chiffon” He said, “The event turned out successful as the exhibitors had got orders of lakhs of meters of textile fabrics and six lakh meters of sarees made from Rapier Jacquard machines. Over 23,000 buyers visited the stalls in three days. We have taken figures from exhibitors and found that new business of over Rs 100 crore had been generated through this event. The textile manufacturers were enthusiastic and booked 60 stalls for our next year’s event of Weaveknitt 2022.” Shakir Jariwala, marketing manager of General Poly tex, a textile fabric manufacturing unit in Surat, said, “We manufacture over 1000 different types of products in textiles. This exhibition was tremendous and we got a good response from buyers. This morning, we have got over 20 buyers at our office who have placed purchase orders of lakhs of meters of textile fabrics from different brands. All these buyers from Bangalore, Mumbai etc were new to us. In the last three days, we have got 671 footfalls… We are expecting purchase orders of 30 lakh meters of textile fabrics of different qualities. ” Apple sarees owner Dipak Sheta said, “ Our firm deals with sarees and dress materials, and for that, we require grey fabrics. We have seen different types and qualities of new fabrics in this exhibition and we have placed purchased orders of 30 lakh metres of sarees.”

Source: Indian Express

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GST compensation plan may come with riders

The Centre is looking to initiate a discussion on correcting the anomalies in the structure and revenue augmentation, along with a proposal to revise the compensation formula when the GST Council meets in Lucknow on Friday. Although the agenda is not focused on compensation, sources told TOI inverted duty structure for segments such as textiles, footwear and fertiliser is up for discussion even as the all-powerful panel comprising Union and state finance ministers is expected to opt for a new mechanism for taxing bricks, with a lower levy for those opting out of the input tax credit (ITC) mechanism, as well as mentha, while leaving the contentious issue of pan masala. “Compensation cannot be discussed in isolation. we also need to look at plugging leakage of revenue and revenue augmentation to bolster collections,” said a government source, indicating that the Centre is going to strike a hard bargain. The Centre had assured revenue to states if annual growth is under 15% during the first five years of implementation, which ends next June. States are expecting a continuation of compensation for a few more years, arguing that they have given up their right to tax. Although inverted duty structure for textiles, footwear and fertiliser, where inputs attract higher taxes than the final product, have been on the agenda, the states have sought to avoid discussions. Increasing taxes on certain textiles products and footwear may not be politically palatable, especially when ministers meet in pollbound Lucknow, but tax officials argue that there is a need to correct the anomaly, which affects businesses. Tweaking the GST on fertiliser may be seen to be doing something that is not pro-farmer, but officials pointed out that the burden in any case is borne by the Centre through subsidy, which is rising. What has also proved to be a divisive issue even for a specially constituted group of ministers is proposal for capacity-based tax for pan masala, a sector that is seen to be prone to duty evasion. With the panel still split, the GST Council may postpone a decision. But when it comes to bricks, where hosts UP have an interest, the Council is expected to agree to a structure allowing 5% levy without the benefit of ITC, and 12% for those who agree to credit for taxes paid on inputs.

Source: Times of India

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India, U.K. to begin trade talks from November 1

Government eying ‘early harvest’ deal by March. Formal negotiations for a proposed India-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would begin on November 1, with an interim ‘early harvest’ agreement to be completed by March 2022, the government stated on Tuesday. The interim trade pact would involve early tariff or market access concessions on certain key ‘high priority products and services’, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement following Minister Piyush Goyal’s meeting with his British counterpart, International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss on Monday. The U.K. government, in a separate statement, noted that the two Ministers agreed on the steps to get ready to launch negotiations ‘later this year’, including a series of trade working groups from September to help both sides ‘better understand each other’s position on potential chapter areas in any trade deal including tariffs, standards, IP and data regulation’. “The International Trade Secretary reaffirmed her ambition to negotiate a trade agreement that delivers results for the British people and businesses including those in digital and data, tech and food and drink,” the U.K. statement highlighted, indicating its priority areas.


The proposed FTA would unlock the ‘extraordinary’ business opportunities and generate jobs, Mr. Goyal stressed. He emphasised the need to strike a balance between commitments and concessions in goods and services. Discussions to finalise the terms of reference for the FTA negotiations would begin on October 1, he observed. The UK India Business Council, in its pre-FTA submission to the U.K. Department of International Trade, had sought measures to ensure tax parity between the U.K. and Indian businesses and lower tariffs on alcoholic spirits and medical devices, among other items. It had also pitched for curbing non-tariff barriers to goods trade by aligning standards and ‘simplifying burdensome and costly customs procedures’ and steps such as ‘IP protection and alignment of data protection rules to enable digitally driven future focussed’ industries. Industry is also backing mutual recognition of qualifications in higher education and the professional services, which the Indian minister alluded to in his talks with Ms. Truss. “Certain services of mutual interest may be included in the interim agreement through a request-offer approach, wherein we may include priority sectors which are immediately deliverable. If necessary, we may also explore signing of few Mutual Recognition Agreements in selective services like nursing and architecture services,” Mr. Goyal added.

Source: The Hindu

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PLI scheme for textile sector: Tamil Nadu eyes more investments

 The scheme is expected to have a positive impact on States such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP, Punjab, AP, Telangana and Odisha Tamil Nadu is keen on taking advantage of the PLI (production linked incentive) scheme for textiles and will extend all support to the industry to attract investments. The success of the scheme lies in the joint effort of the Centre, State governments and investors. Most of the State governments including Tamil Nadu are willing to take it forward as there is awareness about the PLI scheme, said Vijoy Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. The PLI scheme is expected to have a positive impact on States such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP, Punjab, AP, Telangana and Odisha. He added that States like Tamil Nadu will reap immense benefits through the scheme as it was already a leading player in textiles. If investments fructify, a lot of jobs will be created. A capital investment of ₹1 crore in textile sector can create about 70 jobs and no other sector has that potential. Also, more production will fetch GST revenue. Overall, it will be a win-win scheme

Time-bound scheme

Singh also explained that PLI is a different and a time-bound scheme as the gestation period is only two years and after that there will be benefits for 5 years. Earlier, government assistance was there despite delay in projects. But this time it is clear, and one has to build the factory and commence operations in two years’ time. Textile industry representatives indicate that Tamil Nadu government has been proactive in attracting investments. The recent announcement on the removal 1 per cent Agricultural Market Committee cess on cotton and cotton waste has cheered the industry as it has been a long demand of textile industry associations. The State government has assured State level support for projects under PLI on a caseto-case basis. It has also promised a nodal agency for speeding up project clearances in a time-bound manner, said KS Sundararaman, Chairman, Indian Technical Textile Association. PLI scheme appears to offer big opportunities particularly for two segments – MMF apparel and spinning. “In MMF space, there are a few players from Tamil Nadu who have built domestic as well as export businesses. These companies could aim for ₹100 crore project under the PLI scheme. Also, spinning players could graduate to fabric (processed) business level if not apparel level. Standalone spinners should explore investments under this programme as this will be a natural progress for them – basic products to finished products,” said Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convenor of Coimbatore-based Indian Texpreneurs Federation.

Source: The Hindu Businessline

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CM to hold the first meet of newly formed industry board today

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would be holding the first meeting of the West Bengal Industrial Promotion Board on Wednesday. The Chief Minister is the chairperson of the board and it was constituted with an aim to ensure better coordination among related departments to redress various industry related issues at the earliest. This came when the state government had framed the "Ethanol Production Promotion Policy" and "Data Centre Industry Policy". At the same time, the Bengal government has also decided to approve setting up of private industrial parks on even five acres of land in Kolkata and its surrounding Howrah, North and South 24-Parganas districts. Earlier, a minimum 20 acres was needed for the same. The Chief Minister would head the meeting. It would be attended by the Industry minister Partha Chatterjee. Besides the state's Chief Secretary and chairpersons of both West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBIIDC), ministers and secretaries of departments including Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles (MSME & T), Information Technology and Electronics, Tourism, Power, Land, Finance and Food Processing Industries and Horticulture would also be attending the same. The meeting comes crucial when it is going to take place within a couple of days after the state government has announced a series of steps to attract investment mainly at the existing industrial parks and for setting up of new industrial parks as well. With the changes brought to the policy for industrial parks, different units related to the sectors including warehouse, logistics, cold storage, poultry and fisheries can also be set up at industrial parks and private investors would also be getting 20 percent, 30 percent and 50 percent of the state government's incentive at three stages of completion of setting up of a new industrial parks.

Source: Millennium Post

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State to support industries investing under PLI scheme

‘Many industries in Tamil Nadu likely to invest’ The State government has said it would support the industries investing under the recently approved Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in the State, according to industry sources who participated in a meeting in Chennai on Tuesday. Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, Khadi and Village Industries Board R. Gandhi, Secretary Apoorva, and Additional Secretary of Union Ministry of Textiles Vijoy Kumar Singh, participated in the meeting with the textile and clothing industry players in the State. The sources said the investors had only two years as investment period to avail themselves of benefits under the scheme. Hence, they should get all approvals from the State government within a stipulated period. “The Minister and the officials were very supportive and have said the State government will provide all clearances under the single window system. The State government plans to have a separate department for textiles and it will help the investors of the Scheme,” said K. Selvaraju, secretary general, Southern India Mills’ Association, who participated in the meeting. The industry is waiting for details of products that will be covered under the Scheme. Many in Tamil Nadu have expressed interest and are likely to invest, Mr. Selvaraju said. Mr. Singh told presspersons the investors would have to form a separate company, a 100 % subsidiary, to benefit from the PLI scheme. The Central and State governments are keen on generating employment opportunities and the Scheme will support industries to create jobs. Mr. Selvaraju added that Tamil Nadu’s main strength is in cotton textiles and hence, the industry has appealed to the Centre to cover high-end cotton products too under the PLI scheme.

Source: The Hindu

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To decarbonise economies, India & US launch platform

Joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in due course would be a next step for the US to drive the world towards a clean energy transition. The US is expected to announce its decision in this regard soon, said sources while referring to discussions during bilateral meetings before the launch of the Dialogue. Developing proposals that can help curb carbon emissions, mobilising finance and investment in innovative clean energy technology, and “climate adaptation and resilience” would be three pillars of the CAFMD. Collaborating to mobilise finance and deploy clean technology for faster energy transition, India and the US on Monday launched a joint platform — Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) — which would help both countries move towards decarbonising economies in sync with their respective commitments to deal with the challenges of climate change. Joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in due course would be a next step for the US to drive the world towards a clean energy transition. The US is expected to announce its decision in this regard soon, said sources while referring to discussions during bilateral meetings before the launch of the Dialogue. Developing proposals that can help curb carbon emissions, mobilising finance and investment in innovative clean energy technology, and “climate adaptation and resilience” would be three pillars of the CAFMD. “I hope this Dialogue will work to mobilise and deliver climate finance primarily as grants and concessional finance, as envisaged under the Paris Agreement to strengthen climate action,” said environment minister Bhupender Yadav while launching the platform jointly with the visiting US special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry. Collaborating to mobilise finance and deploy clean technology for faster energy transition, India and the US on Monday launched a joint platform — Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) — which would help both countries move towards decarbonising economies in sync with their respective commitments to deal with the challenges of climate change. Joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in due course would be a next step for the US to drive the world towards a clean energy transition. The US is expected to announce its decision in this regard soon, said sources while referring to discussions during bilateral meetings before the launch of the Dialogue. Developing proposals that can help curb carbon emissions, mobilising finance and investment in innovative clean energy technology, and “climate adaptation and resilience” would be three pillars of the CAFMD. “I hope this Dialogue will work to mobilise and deliver climate finance primarily as grants and concessional finance, as envisaged under the Paris Agreement to strengthen climate action,” said environment minister Bhupender Yadav while launching the platform jointly with the visiting US special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry.

Source: Economic Times

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Future Growth: India’s ‘new’ economy

New-age tech firms are are likely to enhance GDP growth and create jobs over the next decade, but need the ‘physical’ economy to rise in tandem All told, the ‘digital’ dream is impressive, but for it to reach its potential, the ‘physical’ economy must rise in tandem. The supply and the demand for risk capital into Indian start-ups have risen. The world is awash with liquidity as central banks have stepped up to support growth. There is appetite to put money into growing businesses. Venture Capital funding has risen sharply at a global level. More stringent rules surrounding internet companies in some other countries could potentially direct more funds to India. New Indian firms have sprouted at a rapid pace, largely in the digital economy. As they grow, these firms have demanded funds at various levels. FDI, FII, VC and PE inflows are all on the rise. A breakdown of FDI inflows into ‘digital’ and ‘physical’ shows that about 50% is going into digital, versus 40% five years ago, and 20% ten years ago. Between 2015 and 2020, c$60bn has been invested in India’s tech start-ups, and this number is expected to rise by $20bn in 2021. These digital start-ups are likely to benefit the economy in many ways, from culture to jobs. We go on to test the jobs impact econometrically. We find that real wage growth and real interest rates have explained India’s consumption patterns rather well in the past. But over time, an additional variable that captures the rise of e-commerce is growing in importance. We find that the online purchases to total consumption ratio, an indicator of e-commerce penetration is rising. We marry this ratio with growth in real GDP, to get to a combination metric, which helps us determine whether the combination of higher convenience from shopping online and buoyant income outlook do indeed increase total consumption in the economy. All variables are significant and of the right sign. Our model suggests that e-commerce can in fact raise overall consumption. A higher consumption pie will require more people to service it. We had earlier reported that e-commerce will lead to an increase in jobs across logistics & delivery, customer care, IT and management. True, several brick-and-mortar stores could shut. We modelled this carefully to find that, on net, e-commerce would create jobs. Business-as-usual estimates suggest that India could have a shortfall of 24mn jobs over the next decade. E-commerce could fill half that gap. We believe these new-age firms will also do capex. Gross fixed capital formation can be broken down into tangible and intangible capex. The former mainly comprises dwellings & structures and machinery & equipment. The latter comprises Intellectual Property. New age firms could contribute a bit to each of these categories, directly or indirectly. Digital companies could raise India’s GDP growth. Here, we attempt to quantify some of the growth gains. We limit our analysis to the e-commerce sector, for which we have a workable model. India’s e-commerce penetration is running a decade behind China’s. We assume that India can cover half of the gap with China in a decade. As the consumption pie rises, so will GDP growth. However, there is one complication that still needs to be addressed. The rapid rise in e-commerce over the last decade coincided with a sharp rise in personal credit growth. After having burnt their hands with industrial credit led bad loans, banks shifted focus to the still small personal loan market. Our regression may not be able to disentangle the impact of rising personal credit growth from the e-commerce convenience variable. We will have to net it off separately. Using our estimate of the credit growth multiplier, we subtract off the growth impact of a more sustainable personal credit growth over the next decade. What we are left with is our clean estimate of e-commerce impact on growth. We find that, over the next decade, if (a) India can close half the e-commerce penetration gap it has with China, and (b) banks continue to fund part of the consumption growth but in a more sustainable way while (c) growth and income prospects remain bright, rising ecommerce penetration could add 0.25ppt per year to India’s GDP growth. Let’s put this in context. We had that pegged post-pandemic potential growth to likely fall from 6% to 5%. The rise of e-commerce, we calculate, can offset a quarter of the fall. Where will the growth show up? A Cobb-Douglas production function framework shows that growth is driven by labour, capital and TFP. We think new-age digital companies will have most impact of TFP, via efficiency enhancing processes, followed by capex, and then labour. But ‘physical’ economy limits can’t be ignored. The digital and the physical economy will feed off each other. Over time, the ‘digital’ economy will benefit the ‘physical’ economy in innumerable ways. But the digital economy will also be a large user of the physical economy, especially infrastructure and manufacturing. New age firms will be big users India’s roads, ports, rails and other infrastructure. True that these firms will do some of their own capex, for instance in warehousing and data centres. But they will also be large users of the capex they do not do. Furthermore, they will also be intermediaries in the domestic trade of goods, which the physical economy manufactures. And here-in lie the constraints. India’s investment rate has fallen over the last decade. Public capex, which leads the infrastructure build-out in the economy, has been stagnant, even as private capex, which uses the infrastructure, has risen. The ‘physical’ infrastructure needs to rise in tandem with the ‘digital’ economy, to enable it to reach its full potential. Similarly, sectors like e-commerce sell the products made in the ‘physical’ economy. If the consumption pie rises, but India’s manufacturing sector does not keep up, and the digital economy relies on imported goods, it could hurt India’s external finances, and become unsustainable. Even as overall FDI inflows have soared, the rise has been limited to the ‘digital’ economy. ‘Physical’ economy FDI, has been sluggish at low levels. All told, the ‘digital’ dream is impressive, but for it to reach its potential, the ‘physical’ economy must rise in tandem. Edited excerpts from HSBC Global Research’s Economics India report, dated September 08 Respectively, chief economist (India), economist, and associate, HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Limited.

Source: Financial Express

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UP investments show double-engine govt benefits: PM Narendra Modi

 PM said the Lucknow node of the project would soon witness an investment of Rs 9,000 crore for the manufacture of BrahMos missile systems Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the central government was working on a road map to transform India’s image from that of a defence hardware importer to an exporting country. Addressing a gathering after visiting an exhibition on the Aligarh node of the Defence Industrial Corridor, Modi asserted that UP was benefiting from the “double-engine” government, as the BJP was ruling both at the Centre and in the state. The prime minister said even 75 years after Independence, India had to import most of its defence and military requirements. “Now, the country is moving towards domestically manufacturing defence hardware including rifles, fighter jets, drones and aircraft carriers. We are aiming to break the image of an importing country to that of an exporter,” he asserted. New industrial units of small arms, armament, drone, aerospace, metal components, antidrone system and defence packaging products are coming up, Modi said and added that this will give a new identity to Aligarh and nearby areas. Referring to the UP Defence Corridor, the PM said the Lucknow node of the project would soon witness an investment of Rs 9,000 crore for the manufacture of BrahMos missile systems, while the Jhansi node has also received a missile project proposal. There are six nodes in the UP Corridor. “UP is a major cog in the wheel of India’s defence self-reliant mission and I, as a Member of Parliament (MP) from the state, feel proud of this fact,” he added. Earlier, Modi laid the foundation of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University, Aligarh and also reviewed the Aligarh node of the UP Defence Corridor along with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath. “The Aligarh node has already received more than 18 investment proposals, which will create thousands of new job opportunities and manufacture small arms, ammunition, drones, anti-drone systems, aerospace solutions etc.,” Modi added. He said Aligarh, which is at present recalled for its sturdy locks, will soon be reckoned for its defence manufacturing industries producing equipment to secure the country’s borders. Meanwhile, the PM noted UP had become a major investment destination for both Indian and foreign companies owing to the proactive policies pursued by the Yogi Adityanath government. “Not long ago, the development path of UP was riddled with corruption, mafias, scams and a vindictive governance system. However, under Yogiji, the state is reaping the fruits of the “twin engine” government and progressing at all fronts, including expressways and industries,” he added. The PM said now the mafia elements were behind bars and the vaccination drive was in an overdrive in UP, which had so far administered nearly 80 million doses. He also flayed the earlier regimes for ignoring the freedom fighters beyond just a handful select group of leaders. He recalled the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, a Jat leader, for playing an active role in the freedom struggle and contributing with his wealth too. Apart from the foundation laying ceremony, Modi also invoked former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh and former PM Chaudhary Chanan Singh. This outreach of the Western UP pantheons by the PM is seen as preparing the pitch for the forthcoming crucial 2022 UP assembly polls amid farm stir led by Rakesh Tikait.

Source: Business Standard

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India needs $7.8 trillion greenfield assets in 5 years to become $5 trillion economy: Deloitte

Report says FDI worth at least $400 billion needs to flow in through new investments for gross capital formation to hit that level. It adds that India will likely become a $5 trillion economy by FY29 as a result of high growth and moderate inflation. India will need at least $7.8 trillion worth of gross capital formation in the form of greenfield assets in the next five years if the government’s target of the country becoming a $5 trillion economy is to become a reality, a new report by Deloitte has shown. For this to happen, foreign direct investment (FDI) worth at least $400 billion needs to reach new investments, ‘India’s FDI Opportunity – a global survey report’ says. Of the $80 billion worth of FDI in FY21, only 3 percent led to gross capital formation, it adds. Capital formation is used to describe the net capital accumulation over a fixed period. The term refers to addition of capital goods, such as equipment, tools, transportation assets, and electricity, that can then be used to produce economic goods, leading to an economic cycle of growth.

Riding on domestic investments

“While foreign investment inflows into India have been consistently rising over the past five years, they have not contributed proportionately to the country’s capital formation and GDP,” the report says. Over the last five years, net capital inflows contributed about 4 percent to the total gross capital formation (GCF), suggesting that domestic investments, funded by domestic savings, accounted for the remaining 96 percent. The government has remained bullish on meeting the $5 trillion mark by FY26, banking on an ambitious increase in infrastructure investments along with the recently announced national monetisation pipeline. However, even under Deloitte’s most optimistic scenario, the deadline has been pushed back till FY27 due to the impact of Covid-19. But the report says a scenario with high growth and moderate inflation remains “highly likely”, whereby the target would get postponed till FY29. In this case, real GDP growth moderates after the first year but remains stable. “The annual average growth rate is assumed to be at 6 percent with the annual average inflation rate hovering around the mid-point of the RBI’s target range (close to 4 percent). Healthy growth results in modest currency depreciation,” it forecasts.

Capital formation priority

 India can target an additional $1 trillion of merchandise exports in the next five years by attracting higher FDI into seven capital investment-led focus sectors, the report says. They are the electronics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food processing, capital goods and automotive sectors. For this to happen, Deloitte has suggested a host of reforms such as extending the lower corporate tax rate to existing electronics manufacturing companies that achieve thresholds set for manufacturing activity, as well as examining existing multilateral and bilateral trade agreements that give other nations an advantage in pharma and textiles. Improving existing schemes has also been widely suggested. For automobiles, the report has suggested that the Production Linked Incentive Scheme also specifically cover the cross-section of Tier 1 and Tier 2 domestic suppliers with added incentives for the Electric Vehicle portfolio. For the food processing sector, it has mooted extending concessionary provisions currently available under the Mega Food Park scheme to single occupant facilities by large anchor investors, supported by initiatives to attract large food processing initiatives.

Investor interest strong  

An accompanying survey of 1,200 top business leaders from multinational companies spread across the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Singapore shows that up to 44 percent are currently planning to invest in India. The highest positive response came from the US, where almost half of all leaders said they were planning additional or first-time investments, followed by the UK (45 percent), Japan (41 percent) and Singapore (38 percent). The US also tops in the period taken for investments, whereby 21 percent of respondents said they planned to invest in the next two years, whereas 17 percent and 12 percent said the same in the UK and Japan, respectively. The report notes that despite recent reforms to improve the ease of doing business in India, awareness among investors remains low. Business leaders in Japan (16 percent) and Singapore (9 percent) were least aware of initiatives such as the digitisation of customs clearance and production linked incentives for manufacturers. Accordingly, India was perceived as a more challenging environment to do business compared to China and Vietnam.

Source:  Money Control

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North, south markets lead India's retail recovery, says survey

After a massive disruption during the second wave of Covid-19, retail activities in the country have started recovering steadily After a massive disruption during the second wave of Covid-19, retail activities in the country have started recovering steadily. A recent survey report by Retailers' Association of India shows that in spite of significant impact of the second wave in May and June, markets in north and south India have seen a fast recovery to pre-Covid levels, while West continues to reel under the extended wave. Food and groceries and quick service restaurant sectors have surpassed 2019 levels. Even sectors such as sports goods, apparels and clothings have regained much of the lost ground just ahead of the festive season.

Source: Business Standard

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Pakistan, Tajikistan identify six industrial sectors for cooperation

Industries ministers of Pakistan and Tajikistan discussed framework of industrial cooperation in textile, mining, leather, food processing, pharmaceuticals and surgical equipments in view of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to Tajikistan. Federal Minister of Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar held a virtual interactive session with Tajikistan’s Minister for Industries and New Technologies Sherali Kabir, a statement said on Tuesday. Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan Ismatullo Nasredin, and senior officials from both sides also attended the meeting. Both sides deliberated upon the framework of industrial sector cooperation between the two countries in view of PM Khan’s official visit to Tajikistan in a couple of days. Six areas of interest and cooperation, including textile, mining, leather, food processing, pharmaceuticals and surgical equipments were also identified by the ministers. Bakhtyar apprised that the PM would be accompanied by a delegation of businessmen from each of the identified sector of cooperation. Presence of business community and industrialists from both sides would help establish long-term business to business cooperation between Pakistan and Tajikistan, he added. Highlighting the various initiatives taken by the government to increase investment in the country, the minister said the country offered attractive opportunities for foreign investment, including joint ventures in priority areas of cooperation. While speaking with his Tajik counterpart, Bakhtyar called for industrial complementarities and synergies between both countries to energise business to business interaction avenues to expand bilateral trade and industrial development agenda. The minister also underscored the vibrant industrial sector of Pakistan along with highly skilled labour force in construction, textiles, leather, footwear, surgical equipment, sports goods, automotive and mobile phones manufacturing, and light engineering sectors. The meeting participants were briefed about the National Electric Vehicles Policy and Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy as well. Further, he informed that the revised version of the Automotive Development Policy and the new National SMEs Policy would expand the industrial base. Tajik Minister for Industries Sherali Kabir shed light on his government’s five-year plan for mining and exploration of rare metals, coal and minerals in his country. He also discussed the setting up of free distribution channels along the border of the neighbourhood, and invited Pakistani companies to explore opportunities in increasing trade and financing across the region. Kabir also expressed the hope for enhancing economic and industrial sector ties between both countries amidst the official visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Tajikistan.

Source: The News

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Growing demand pushes spinners to synthetic yarn

The number of spinners has now reached about 50 from 10 over the last five years and are producing different types of synthetic and blended yarns for high-end garments, such as activewear The country's spinning millers have stepped up for investing more on synthetic and blended yarns in response to the increasing use of such yarns globally. Also, to decrease dependency on cotton yarns and stay competitive in the global market, leading spinners, such as Noman Group, Envoy Group, DBL Group, Maksons Group, Square Group and Shasha Denim are now setting up new facilities for manufacturing synthetic and blended yarns. The country's spinning mills, as a backward linkage for the textile and export-oriented readymade garment sector, imported 1 lakh tonnes of polyester staple fibre in 2020, while it was only 10 lakh tonnes in 2015, according to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA). The number of spinners has now reached about 50 from 10 over the last five years and are producing different types of synthetic and blended yarns for high-end garments, such as activewear, said BTMA officials. Blended yarns include – cotton, polyester, nylon, wool and viscose etc. The man-made fibre made apparels have occupied about 78% of the global clothing fashion market, where the remaining stake goes to cotton made clothing items, according to the International Textile Manufacturer Federation (ITMF). However, Bangladesh's apparel exports constitute about 70% of cotton apparels and the rest are made of synthetic fibre, according to ITMF data. Furthermore, the global synthetic fibres market size was valued at $59.95 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% from 2021 to 2028. The synthetic fibres market size will amount to $99.78 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research. Engr Razeeb Haider Munna, director of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), told The Business Standard that many spinning millers are converting a part of their capacities to manufacture synthetic yarns and some are investing to set up new units for synthetic and blended yarns. Those all initiatives depend on market demand, he said adding, "Millers taking such a decision in response to garment owners' quarries for synthetic and blended yarns." He hoped that production capacity of such yarns will be higher within a year. Noman Group, one of the leading spinning and textile giants in South Asia, has invested in setting up a 100% synthetic yarn unit, which is under trial production. "Our new unit will be able to produce about 100 tonnes of synthetic yarns per day, which is scheduled for commercial operation by the end of this month," said Mohammad Enamul Karim, executive director (spinning) of Noman Group of Industries. Enamul said they have also started construction of another spinning mills to produce blended and cotton yarns, whose production capacity will be 125 tonnes a day. "Initially, we have a plan to produce about 25 tonnes of blended yarns at the new unit and we will enhance its capacity as per demand from buyers," he added. The under-construction unit, involving an investment amounting to Tk500 crore, will come into production by October 2022. It will also create about 1,500 new jobs. Currently, Noman Group's per day production capacity is about 450 tonnes of cotton and blended yarns, while the country's total spinning capacity is about 5,511 tonnes a day. The BTMA said local spinners can meet about 80% of the demand for export-oriented knit yarn and 40% of that for woven yarn, while synthetic and mixed yarns are mostly imported from China. Envoy Group is also investing Tk125 crore to set up a synthetic blended yarn production capacity. The new unit will produce 12 tonnes of yarn per day. Kutubuddin Ahmed, chairman of the group, said, "We are enhancing spinning capacity to produce cotton and synthetic blended 'expanded yarn' as a substitute for imported yarn." The demand for synthetic yarn is growing worldwide, he said, adding that its production cost is low and it is quite durable. "On the other hand, raw cotton prices have been unstable for the last few years in the world market and that is why cotton yarn production cost is increasing," he explained. "So, we could not maintain profit margins by using cotton yarn." Like Envoy Group, Matin Spinning Mills, a sister concern of DBL Group, has also invested Tk186 crore to set up a special unit to produce synthetic yarn. As per the Matin Spinning disclosure posted on the Dhaka Stock Exchange website, the special yarn unit will boost the company's daily production capacity by 10 tonnes and the estimated turnover will grow by Tk100 crore per year. Like DBL Group, Maksons Group, one of the top 10 spinning mills in the country, has announced to invest around Tk1,000 crore in three new spinning units in the Mirsarai Economic Zone. Metro Spinning Limited, a concern of the group, will invest Tk340 crore in a unit, while Maksons Spinning Mills will pour Tk254 crore and Tk348 crore into two other units, according to company insiders. Square Textiles is to invest Tk30 crore, while Mozaffar Hossain Spinning Mills has already invested Tk250 crore to boost production. Shasha Denim has signed a deal with the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority to lease eight plots in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone area for future business expansion.

Source: TBS News

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UK economic recovery slows sharply in Jul; finance minister optimistic

 Economic recovery in the United Kingdom slowed sharply in July as an increase in novel coronavirus cases and supply shortages offset further lifting of lockdown restrictions, according to recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that showed gross domestic product (GDP) output stood at 0.1 per cent in the month compared with GDP of 1 per cent in June. It was the consecutive sixth month of growth. And as the British government's furlough scheme that has supported millions of privatesector jobs during the pandemic comes to an end on September 30, a spike in unemployment is obvious. The country has more than a million job vacancies despite the furlough scheme supporting jobs at a cost of almost £70 billion. ONS said Britain's total economic output remains 2.1 per cent below its pre-pandemic level in February last year. Finance minister Rishi Sunak, however, expressed optimism over the recovery. "I am confident that... we'll continue to recover from the pandemic, we'll see more new jobs, and we will build back better," he said in a statement. Separate official data from the European Union (EU) last week showed that imports of goods from the trade bloc into Britain dropped in July. The UK economy had rebounded by 4.8 per cent in the April-June quarter, as the government began relaxing lockdown restrictions. A resurgence in COVID-19 cases owing to the fast-spreading Delta variant around the world is severely disrupting the global supply chain, while Britain’s divorce from the EU has exacerbated the problem in the United Kingdom. "After many months during which the economy grew strongly, making up much of the lost ground from the pandemic, there was little growth overall in July," ONS statistician Jonathan Athow added. Costs will continue to spike this year in the country because of the ‘persistent’ pandemic, Bank of England (BoE) governor Andrew Bailey warned recently. The BoE expects British annual inflation to temporarily spike to 4 per cent in the fourth quarter, double the current rate.

Source: Fibre2 Fashion

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Korea to expand FTAs with more emerging countries

 South Korea said Tuesday it plans to implement or launch negotiations for a set of new free trade agreements (FTAs) with trading counterparts from Southeast Asia and Latin America this year, as part of efforts to reduce its reliance on major economies. The country plans to officially sign the pending FTA with Cambodia in October, seven months after completing related negotiations, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The ministry said the deal is set to help South Korean firms diversify their assembly lines in the Southeast Asian regions beyond China and Vietnam. Cambodia is South Korea's 60th-largest export destination. Major exports include beverages, textiles and cargo trucks. South Korea mostly imports clothes and shoes from the Southeast Asian nation. South Korea is also awaiting the implementation of a free trade deal with Indonesia, which is pending at the Indonesian assembly for approval. Seoul completed its domestic procedures in June. The ministry added it wishes to produce significant results from the ongoing negotiations with the Philippines as well. Other major pending deals with Asian partners include the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is expected to be ratified in October before being fully implemented as early as January 2022. The mega trade pact, which accounts for one-third of the world's gross domestic product, was inked in November last year, with participants covering ASEAN, South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. South Korea has been making efforts to diversify its trading partners portfolio by joining forces with emerging nations. Forty percent of the country's exports currently depend on China and the United States. South Korea currently has pending negotiations with the Pacific Alliance, a regional trade bloc comprising four countries: Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. Seoul currently wishes to become an associate member, which will grant free trade access to other members. Separate negotiations are under way with Mercosur, made up of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The bloc accounts for around 70 percent of the population in South America and 68 percent of the region's economy. South Korea and Mercosur launched their first negotiations in 2018.

Source: Korea Times

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Diversion of orders out of China to benefit Pakistan's textile exports

Pakistan’s textiles and clothing exports are expected to rise in the coming months due to the diversion of the orders out of China and other neighbouring Asian countries. The focus on more value addition and new textile policy of the country will support the organic growth in exports. The depreciation of PKR has also boosted textile exports. North American and European countries have placed orders for textiles and clothing goods in China, Bangladesh and other Southeast Asian economies, which is why the textile mills and processing units of these countries are working at full capacity. Hence, new orders are being diverted to Pakistani suppliers and the rate is rising consistently. The government of Pakistan is also supporting the exporters by minimising duty and taxes on imports of most raw materials in order to bring down the input costs of exportable products. The ministry of commerce has allotted PKR 6 billion under duty drawback on local taxes and levies (DLTL) scheme. Out of the total fund, PKR 5.60 billion is allotted to the textile sector as it is a major earner of foreign exchange. This has resolved the liquidity issues to some extent in the country’s export sector. In addition to the above, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector of the country grew at a rate of more than 10 per cent in the last fiscal owing to the country’s effective industrial growth policies. The Sino-US trade tussle has also played a pivotal role in boosting the textile and clothing exports of Pakistan. The monthly average of apparel exports from Pakistan was $565.60 million in H1 2021, which is expected to rise by 13.44 per cent in H2 2021 to reach $641.60 million. The US, the UK, Germany, Spain and France were the top importers of Pakistani apparel in H1 and accounted for approximately 68.27 per cent of total apparel exports of the country, according to Fibre2Fashion’s market analysis tool TexPro. Pakistan’s monthly average of textile exports was $278.77 million in H1 2021. It is expected to drop by 6.52 per cent in H2 2021 to reach a monthly average of $260.58 million. Bangladesh, the US, Turkey, Italy and Sri Lanka were the top five importers of Pakistani fabrics in H1 2021 and accounted for approximately 46.64 per cent of total fabric exports of the country. France, Philippines, the US, the UK and Taiwan were the top five destinations for Pakistani textile fibres in H1 2021 and accounted for approximately 56.40 per cent of total textile fibres export of the country. China, Bangladesh, Portugal, the US and Turkey were the top five markets for Pakistani textile yarns in H1 2021 and accounted for approximately 85.63 per cent of total textile yarns exports of the country. The monthly average of home textile exports of Pakistan is expected to go up from $393.22 million in H1 2021 to $448.23 million in H2 2021. The US, the UK, Germany, Netherlands and France were the top five importers of Pakistani home textiles in H1 2021 and accounted for approximately 70.09 per cent of total home textiles exports of the country. The collective monthly average of textiles and clothing exports of Pakistan was $1237.55 million in H1 2021. This is expected to increase by 9.12 per cent in H2 2021 to reach $1350.40 million.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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HKTDC & DITP Thailand sign MoU to facilitate trade promotion

 The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Thai Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) ratified a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at recently held Centrestage fashion event organised by the HKTDC. The MOU aims to promote trade and business activities and enhance the exchange of trade-related information. The MoU, which renews the one signed in 2018, intends to strengthen the economic partnership between Hong Kong and Thailand. The target industries include garment and fashion accessories and furniture among many others, the two entities said in a media statement. HKTDC deputy executive director Benjamin Chau said: “The HKTDC and DITP are pleased to cooperate in organising exchange, training and marketing activities such as trade fairs, seminars and forums to facilitate communication and cooperation between the business communities of Hong Kong and Thailand. Under the renewed MOU, smalland-medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in selected target industries of Hong Kong and Thailand will be encouraged to participate or feature in online platforms, mobile applications and trade fairs of the DITP and HKTDC to promote their products and services to international markets.” hau continued: “To help SMEs and start-ups capture the opportunities arising from the shift to online business, the two organisations will also enhance collaboration in the digital economy, such as in e-commerce promotions, webinars, virtual trade fairs and showcases, and online business matching activities, in order to provide enterprises with technology support and solutions to improve their capabilities.” “To promote Thailand’s exports during the pandemic, Jurin Laksanawisit, Thailand’s deputy prime minister and minister of commerce, has progressive policies to enhance Thailand market access to the world. By providing multiple levels of SME training and new trade promotion techniques called ‘Mirror – Mirror’ which enables Thai entrepreneurs to exhibit their products at international trade fairs without attending in person. We are very happy to strengthen our cooperation with the HKTDC. We also look forward to our businesses taking part in a wider scope of HKTDC activities,” said Chanunpat Pisanapipong, trade commissioner and consul of Thailand’s DITP. Thailand is Hong Kong’s 10th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade totalling $17.3 billion in 2020. Hong Kong exports to Thailand amounted to $6.3 billion last year while the city imported $11.1 billion worth of goods from the country.

Source: Fibre2 Fashion

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