An agreement signed on Wednesday is expected to boost bilateral trade between India and Japan by enhancing India's export of textiles and apparels to Japan, the world's third-largest export destination.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Textiles Committee, under the Ministry of Textiles, and the Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre of Japan will formalise mutual interaction.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in its meeting held on September 2, 2020, had given the approval for signing of a pact between the two.
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani highlighted the challenges related to stringent quality standards for exports to Japan. She expressed confidence that the pact will help in creating awareness on various quality parameters being sought by the importers based in Japan and extending hand-holding support to the Indian exporters to adopt and upgrade their technology.
She was addressing the MoU signing ceremony.
The main objective of the pact is to provide required support to textiles trade and industry for ensuring quality as per the requirement of Japanese buyers through testing, inspection and conformity assessment, training and capacity building, research and development, and consultancy.
Both the institutions have agreed to share and exchange relevant technical information and documentation on a regular basis and carry out activities related to standards, quality assurance norms.
They will also share joint research projects on testing and development of user-friendly tools for dissemination of data to the industry and facilitate sourcing across the textiles value chain from both the countries.
"It is expected that the MoU will strengthen the bilateral trade by enhancing India's export of textile and apparels to Japan, which is the third-largest export destination of the world," an official statement said.
Irani fondly recalled the friendship and long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilisational ties between India and Japan.
She also extolled about the further deepening and strengthening of the India-Japan relationship under the leadership of Modi.
Irani spoke about the synergy in the working of the two organisations and expressed confidence that it will inter alia boost the technical textiles sector as well and improve sourcing from India.
She also urged the textile and apparel industry to make full use of the opportunity in furthering Indian interests.
Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasumasa Nagasaka said India is a huge market for Japanese industry and expressed confidence that going forward, there will be a substantial development in the India-Japan trade relationship.
India and Japan signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011 which inter-alia facilitates import of garments from India to Japan at zero duty. Despite CEPA, the growth in trade in textiles and apparel between the two countries has been moderate.
Japan is third-largest importer of textiles and apparel in the world and India is sixth-largest exporter, and there is huge untapped potential for trade that remains unharnessed.
It is against this backdrop that a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Textiles was mounted in February 2019, to enhance exports and co-operation in the textile sector and to identify areas for optimising the benefit of CEPA.