Covid-19: Tirupur expects $500 million additional revenue from mask exports

By: |
May 19, 2020 2:40 AM

Tirupur garment\knitwear cluster is upbeat on the directorate general of foreign trade’s (DGFT’s) Saturday decision to allow export of non-medical, non-surgical masks.

India’s largest garment hub expects an additional revenue generation of anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion

Tirupur garment\knitwear cluster is upbeat on the directorate general of foreign trade’s (DGFT’s) Saturday decision to allow export of non-medical, non-surgical masks. India’s largest garment hub expects an additional revenue generation of anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion annually going forward as wearing mask is set to become a universal norm globally, following the Covid-19 pandemic attack.

Infusing cheer into the industry, the government has allowed the exports of non-medical and non-surgical masks of cotton, silk, wool and knitted while continuing to prohibit all other types such as N-95 and surgical masks. The Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) has been pressing the Union textile and commerce ministries to allow mask exports for a few months.

TEA president Raja M Shanmugham said: “We are happy to have been allowed to export the non-surgial and non-medical masks, which came at a time when the garment industry is under stress with the exports due to Covid-19 across the world. We have been getting enquiries for masks for some time now but could not do so as the government prohibited export of such masks till Saturday. The decision to allow not only brought immense prospects to the textile industry but also will help generate additional revenue for the 1,500-odd export units.”

“We (the cluster) are expecting an additional revenue generation to the tune of $500 million in the immediate future, and has the potential to generate $1 billion over the next few years as the world, particularly the US and the European Union will witness `new normal’ going forward. Even countries across the world have started demanding masks for their regular usage.

Even big retail customers of Tirupur have already made enquiries for sampling masks and all the units here will start sending samples soon and then comes the order for exports,” Shanmugham said.

He said: “Interestingly, majority of the buyers are expected to source masks in design and fabrics to match that of readymade garments. It’s going to be a colourful and a permanent export opportunity for Tirupur cluster, at least for next few years.”

According to TEA president, hundreds of MSME units, engaged in garment exports, are set to benefit immensely, which, in turn, will help the adjacencies (ancillary units). All these units have been making masks and PPEs in lakhs for domestic purposes over the last two months and with the export opportunity, they look forward to a great future, he said adding, “A new prospect has come to the cluster in the form of exports.”

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