Apparel makers eye global PPE mart, seek end of export ban

Women stitching PPE kits in Rajasthan for corona warriors.

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Indian apparel manufacturers have scaled up production of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to 800,000 kits a day in four months and are now eyeing a share in the $60 billion global PPE market, according to A. Sakthivel, Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).

In a statement on Sunday, Sakthivel reiterated the industry’s demand for lifting of ban on PPEs exports to allow the companies to cater to the global demand. “The entrepreneurial apparel industry is prepared to play a key role in the global PPE market, which is estimated to be $60 billion plus in the next five years,” he said.

Sakthivel said the apparel industry, hit hard by the outbreak of pandemic, had demonstrated extraordinary enterprise to rejig large production facilities to produce PPEs by re-purposing production lines amid a nationwide lockdown that disrupted material, labour and supply chains.

The AEPC has written to Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani demanding lifting of export ban.

“Several countries, like Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan, have lifted ban on PPE exports and are receiving huge orders. We are afraid to lose export markets to competing countries. The production of PPEs is more than sufficient to cater to the domestic needs and can be opened for exports,” Sakthivel said.

The US and Europe were the largest potential buyers, he said and added, Pakistan received $100 million orders last week, which might go up to $500 million.

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