Free Trade Agreements: A boon for India's Textile & Apparel Industry


18 September 2023, Mumbai

India's textile and apparel industry is a major contributor to the country's economy, accounting for over 2% of GDP and generating employment for over 45 million people. FTAs play a vital role in boosting the industry's exports by eliminating or reducing tariffs and other trade barriers.

India's FTA Footprint

Over the past five years, India has entered into 13 FTAs, including noteworthy agreements with Mauritius, the UAE, and Australia. India is also actively engaged in negotiations for more FTAs, particularly with the UK and Canada.

Underutilized Potential

Despite the immense potential of FTAs, the Indian textile and apparel industry has not fully harnessed their benefits. This is due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the FTA framework among businesses.

CITI's Initiative

To address this issue, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has partnered with the renowned law firm Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan to conduct a series of webinars on FTAs.

Webinar Insights

The inaugural webinar, titled "Utilizing Free Trade Agreements to Expand Export Opportunities," delved into the FTA framework, focusing on aspects such as rules of origin and tariff/non-tariff notifications that businesses should carefully consider before making import or export decisions with FTA countries.

Industry's Concerns

T Rajkumar, Chairman of CITI, expressed concern that the industry has not fully harnessed the potential of FTAs. He emphasized the need to raise awareness within the industry and encourage stakeholder discussions on how to effectively utilize FTAs.


The Indian textile and apparel industry must take advantage of FTAs by aligning with partner countries, complying with FTA regulations, and maintaining global quality standards and competitive pricing.

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