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Get These Wrinkles Out of the South Asian Textile Story


Textile Industry in South Asia has huge potential and is currently a global phenomenon. Government support is of utmost necessity to make sure the industry flourishes.


GS-III: Major Crops – Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country, – Different Types of Irrigation and Irrigation Systems; Storage, Transport and Marketing of Agricultural Produce and Issues and Related Constraints; E-technology in the aid of farmers.

Dimensions of the Article

  • Textile Industry and South Asia
  • Standing of Countries: India
  • Standing of Countries: Pakistan
  • Standing of Countries: Bangladesh
  • Standing of Countries: Sri Lanka
  • Transformation of South Asian Textile Industry
  • Advantages in South Asia
  • Challenges in South Asia
  • Way Forward

Textile Industry and South Asia

  • South Asia has become a global player since the third wave of global production.
  • Supportive Industrial Policies, Zero Duty on Raw Materials, and Capital Machinery have been critical factors that have led to the bloom.
  • Bangladesh has overtaken India in exports due to the rising labour costs in India.

Standing of Countries: India

  • Development of India in the field of readymade garments is recent.
  • It holds a share of 4% of the total share of textile markets and ranks 5th.
  • Technical Upgradation Fund Scheme has helped in developing backward linkages.

Standing of Countries: Pakistan

  • Pakistan remains focused on its cotton products.
  • Though Pakistan has suffered from labour and market challenges.
  • Policy Implementation too is lacking despite potential.

Standing of Countries: Bangladesh

  • Joined the league in1980s when Sri Lanka was suffering due to Civil Wars.
  • Concentrates on Cotton Products.
  • Low-Value and Mid-Price Market Segment.
  • Has been ahead of its time in adopting technologies.

Standing of Countries: Sri Lanka

  • Most progress made by Sri Lanka in ascending in value chain.
  • Progress has been made in training, quality control, product development and merchandising has attracted International brands.

Transformation of South Asian Textile Industry

  • Shifting focus from production machinery to integrating technology in the production life cycle.
  • Integration of Robotics in textile production.
  • Digitalization and Automation and Market Efficiency.

Advantages in South Asia      

  • Easy availability of low cost labour.
  • Domestic Market is huge in South Asia.
  • High number of Scientists and Engineers help in technological advancement.
  • Demographic Dividend of South Asia can cater to the rising global demand.
  • Labour Law Reforms, Additional Incentives, Tax Rebates, Income Tax Relations and Duty Reductions have helped the industry grow.

Challenges in South Asia

  • India is yet to move into man-made fibres as factories are largely seasonal.
  • Losses of jobs especially the low-skilled ones due to transforming markets.
  • Adapting to better technologies while creating new jobs.
  • Green Manufacturing Practices need to be inculcated to ensure sustainability.
  • Geopolitical tensions among nations and China’s rising influence.
  • Over dependency on cotton products.

Way Forward

The Textile Industry of South Asia is a growing phenomenon, however, it needs to address the issues associated with it. Labour and Social Security Reforms coupled with policy framework and financial backing will lead to utilization of the huge potential that the market carries.  Newer approaches are needed in areas of compliance and occupational safety. Government’s proactive support will provide the much needed boost.

Source – The Hindu

February 2024