Tirupur: Some UK-based buyers want them to complete the orders in advance as Britain will leave the European Union soon, a group of knitwear exporters said here on Friday.

They urged the Union government to take steps to seal the free trade agreement (FTA) with UK when it would become a non-member of EU.

“The Brexit deal is set to be sealed on March 29. We heard from our member companies that they have been requested by some UK buyers to ship the garments prior to the time scheduled. Once Britain exits the EU, there may be major change in import and export tariff in UK. So, the buyers from Britain could have requested to avoid loss or ascertain their business,” Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) president Raja M Shanmugham said. “But, it is not sure how all exporters would respond to the request, which cannot be mandatory. Because the garments cannot be manufactured overnight.”

Britain is one of the major importers of apparel goods from India. In case of Tirupur knitwear industry exports, it accounts for 12-13% of business. As much as Rs 3,000crore worth goods are exported from the cluster a year.

Earlier, trade bodies like TEA and the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) urged the commerce ministry to take immediate steps to enter FTA with UK once Brexit deal is completed.

“Since there is better preference for Indian apparel goods among buyers and chain stores in Britain, it will be possible to sign FTA with Britain. We have represented the central government to look for initiating talks with UK after it leaves EU,” AEPC vice-chairman A Sakthivel said.

Published On : 16-03-2019

Source : Times of India

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