Why in news?
- India is expected to emerge as one of the main exporters of masks with the habit of its wearing catching up on people worldwide in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Some of the major suppliers are China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina.
Opportunity for India
- India can be a fantastic alternative to China and it has huge export potential for masks.
- In Europe, there is a major need for masks manufactured in India for protection against the COVID-19 outbreak since the combined import from China and local production within the European Union is not enough to meet the increasing demand.
- China covers only half of the global demand and India can enter the market as the second-largest producer in the world, when the Indian government lifts the ban on export of masks and PPEs.
- Currently, the number of cloth manufacturers are more. When the Union government permits export of masks, overseas buyers will ask for certifications and standards and manufacturers, who are able to meet these requirements, will export.
- More machinery is imported to make top quality masks. What the country needs is a full-fledged testing facility for masks.
- Some companies are coming out with woven cloth masks that have anti-bacterial and water-repellent coatings. The masks should be able to meet, probably, more parameters for exports.
-Source: The Hindu