September 24, 2022
  • September 24, 2022

EU-India free trade talks promote sustainable textile industry

By on August 5, 2022 0
Today trade relations between the EU and India in textiles and clothing are characterized by a large and systemic trade deficit for the EU, according to EURATEX. India’s annual imports exceeded €6 billion in 2021, making it the 4th largest supplier, while EU exports to India only reached half a billion, or 20th place in export markets.

In this context, free trade negotiations are an opportunity to rebalance this relationship; European textile and clothing companies can offer high quality and innovative products for the Indian market, but they can also offer solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of the textile industry, EURATEX said in a press release.

EURATEX, as the voice of textile and clothing manufacturers in Europe, supports an ambitious EU trade agenda that puts reciprocity, transparency, fair competition and a level playing field at the center of its action. The FTA is an opportunity to establish a more sustainable and equitable trading system, based on rules, global environmental and social standards, effectively respected by all.

In this context, EURATEX underlined that the sector needs open and efficient markets, but combined with effective controls where necessary, thus guaranteeing a level playing field for European companies. It is clearly essential that the same level of market access to India – both in terms of tariff and non-tariff barriers – is available to EU producers and vice versa.

India now benefits from reduced customs duties thanks to the GSP. For European companies, on the contrary, access to the Indian market is difficult, faced with non-tariff barriers (related to proof of origin, quality control procedures, etc.) as well as programs national or state support that distorts the level playing field between the EU and Indian companies. These level playing fields should also apply to Europe’s sustainability goals. As the EU rolls out its European textile strategy, setting ambitious standards and restrictions (eg on chemicals), we must ensure that the FTA is fully aligned with this strategy.

“We are watching these negotiations with great interest. The FTA is an opportunity to develop a shared ambition between European and Indian industry to make sustainable textiles the norm and create a regulatory framework where our businesses can compete in a free and fair environment,” General Manager Dirk Vantyghem said.