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Indian delegation visit Japan, look forward to more business between the nations

by Apparel Resources News-Desk

09-March-2019  |  6 mins read

Japan
Indian delegates after the meeting with Marubeni Group

A high-level Indian delegation recently visited Japan and explored opportunities to grow business between the two nations. The 5-day long visit was attended by Raghvendra Singh, Textile Secretary and senior representatives from the department of heavy industries, representative of Export Promotion Councils (EPCs), industry leaders from machinery, technical textiles, synthetic and cotton fabrics and made sector .

The major takeaways of the delegation were stock-taking of the major issues with regard to investment and sourcing from India. An important way forward that emerged was a focused approach towards understanding and improving sourcing, given the specific requirements of the Japanese markets. Important collaboration partners were identified towards meeting the technology needs, quality issues and participation in Japanese fairs.

During the visit, the Indian delegation met different trade bodies there. To mention a few, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan Sewing Machinery Manufacturers Association and Nipon Knit Industry Association Federation, Teijin corporation – an important supplier of technical textile inputs, were part of the meetings. Through a seminar and a B2B meeting with Indian businessmen in Japan, the delegation also had intensive discussions on the concerns of the business and areas of collaboration and joint ventures.  Indian delegation invited Japan’ based machines manufacturers to invest in India and start manufacturing here so Indian exporters can have these machines comparatively at less price.

Japan was identified as a focus country, both for domestic fairs, like IIGF and Japanese fairs like India Trend Fair. Upscaling India’s participation in terms of organizations and products on display, better preparedness for displaying products and more due to diligence on quality aspects need to plan for export enhancement.

Fast Retailing (Uniqlo) eyeing India for sourcing!

Fast Retailing, one of Japan’s well-known retailers, is looking for business in India. During this trip, Textile Secretary Raghvendra Singh and HKL Magu, Chairman, AEPC had a meeting with top management of the group. “Our meeting with Tadashi Yanai, President, and Chairman of Fast Retailing was quite fruitful as he was quite positive about Indian products and assured us to support India,” shared HKL Magu.

Fast Retailing owns UNIQLO, GU, Theory, Comptoir des Cotonniers, Princesse tam.tam, and J Brand. In FY 2018, the company has a turnover of more than 2100 billion Yen. Fast Retailing has more than 3,600 stores across the globe and currently sourcing only from one or two top exporters of India. Five years ago, Tadashi Yanai visited India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers. At that time, he expressed intention to source garments from India and develop its retail presence also. But so far there is not much growth as far as the company’s sourcing from India is concerned.

Delegation’s meeting with the Marubeni Corporation and the Adventure Group was also quite successful. Adventure Group is already sourcing from Jaipur and find the city price competitive and further increase its sourcing. So far, many exporters of Jaipur are working with Japan but these retailers can expand their focus on other hubs of India also. Ravi Poddar, Ex-President, and Aseem Singla, General Secretary, Garment Exporters’ Association of Rajasthan (GEAR) also part of this delegation. Aseem told Apparel Resources, “Out of Japan’s total woven garment import from India, Jaipur has a share of 30 per cent. But after 2013, there is no substantial growth despite our long-term relations with Japanese buyers and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between both countries. There is an improvement on quality and timely delivery front but still, there is a scope on both fronts.”  He further added that it was discussed in the various meeting that both countries will focus on such buyers those are currently not sourcing from India and for that some buyer delegation should invite to particular Indian clusters. “If things take shape as per mutual discussion, our apparel export will definitely grow,” concluded Aseem.

India is majorly exporting summerwear but few exporters are now also focusing on products like quilted jacket. Japanese retailers are looking for millions of pieces of this product as everyone is buying this.

Why Japan

Globally, Japan is the third largest importer of textiles and apparels.

India had a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the country.

Japan’s apparel imports from India: Jan to Dec. US $ million
Category 2017 2018 Growth
Knitted 33.59 31.53 -6.12
Woven 147.23 176.32 19.76
Total 180.82 207.85 14.95
Source: Ministry of Commerce, GOI