Mr. Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank, said that the Indian textile and garment industries are of great importance at all levels of the value chain – given that globally, India is the second biggest producer of cotton as well as for further processing of textiles and garments.
India has great potential to profit at all levels of the value chain due to the increasing demand of sustainable textiles. Mr. Fuchtel was addressing a meeting on ‘The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles – An Opportunity for Global Supply Chains’, organized on the sidelines of the Indo-German inter-governmental consultations by FICCI and KonradAdenauer-Stiftung (KAS). Germany’s Partnership for Sustainable Textiles aims to improve the conditions along the complete textile value chain. The alliance comprises more than 150 member organizations, currently covering nearly 45 per cent of the German textile retail industry and is aiming at a long-term market coverage of 75 per cent.
Currently, Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is increasingly aligning itself internationally. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development as a member of Germany’s Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, is implementing its targets at the levels of the EU, OECD or into the G7-Process, amongst others. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-stakeholder initiative, comprising textile and clothing industry, retailers, trade unions and civil society that pool the strength and expertise of its members in order to bring about social, ecological and economic improvements all along the textile supply chain. In so doing, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles aims to tackle common challenges more effectively, exploit synergies through joint projects on the ground, learn from one another and thus improve underlying conditions in the producer countries like India.
The aim of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is to bring about continuous improvement of social, ecological and economic sustainability along the entire textile chain. Parliamentary State Secretary Fuchtel said that the challenge before the Partnership is how to improve the overall quality and efficiency of supply chains in the textile industry on a global scale, thus eliminating e.g. child labour. He stressed the importance of transparency in working conditions of the textile workforce where due importance is accorded to safe work and wages were in consonance with the need to sustain the livelihood of workmen. Globally, it is imperative to make workplaces in the textile industry accident-free as this has the potential to also increase productivity and cost-effectiveness in the long run, added Fuchtel.
In his remarks, Mr. Sidharth Birla, Immediate Past President, FICCI, pointed out that Indian Textiles sector is dependent on exports in a major way. India currently exports over US$ 1.8 billion of textiles and textile items to Germany annually. Hence, it is important that Indian textile industry is integrated in the global supply chain.
The world today is moving fast towards the sustainable solutions and is increasingly moving towards the sustainable supply chain. Germany is the global leader in such sustainable and smart solutions, he added.