India's Powerful Call: 'Make WITH India' at EU-India Leaders Conference 2023


India's Powerful Call: 'Make WITH India' at EU-India Leaders Conference 2023, Boosting Textile Cooperation and FTA for Unprecedented Economic Growth

● Key discussions addressed challenges faced by European companies in the Indian market and roadmap to achieve a win-win scenario in the FTA negotiation

● Strong advocacy from EU and India industry leaders for implementing zero-duty policy within proposed EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) specifically for textiles

● Market Access Privileges: Focus on broader market access for European textile products in India, addressing standards, customs procedures, and misunderstandings

● Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers: Eliminate non-tariff barriers hindering European companies in India, such as standards, customs procedures, and information gaps

● Policy Alignment: Align policies between the EU and India, especially in industry-related laws, to create a level playing field and reduce discrepancies

Mumbai, 07 July, 2023: The annual EU-India Leaders Conference 2023, organized by Europe India Centre for Business and Industry, brought together influential leaders from India and the European Union (EU) in a highly esteemed gathering held at the European Parliament & AWEX in Brussels, Belgium. The conference highlighted the utmost significance of fostering a strong and collaborative partnership between these regions, not only to revolutionize the global textile market but also to drive transformation across various sectors. The event brought together esteemed government representatives, industry heads, business leaders, academics, and civil society representatives from both Europe and India to explore new avenues of collaboration, particularly in the realm of textile cooperation and the proposed EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Notably, Pratik Gadia, Founder & CEO of The Yarn Bazaar, and Dr Amit Lath, CEO of Sharda Group of Companies, played an important role as speakers and co-moderators for the panel discussion on EU-India textile cooperation, providing valuable insights into EU-India textile cooperation and the need for FTAs to boost relations.

The evolving dynamics in the textile industry, driven by the 'China Plus One' sentiment and shifting global supply chains, present a significant opportunity for India to leverage its position as a leading player. With its strong labour force and comprehensive farm-to-fashion ecosystem, India has the potential to become the largest textile market for the EU. Conversely, this opens avenues for Indian textile exporters to expand their footprint and enhance their competitiveness on a global scale. However, certain challenges must be addressed to realise this potential.

The EU-India Leaders Conference provided a platform for industry leaders to tackle these challenges head-on. One of the key advocacy points from both sides was the inclusion of a zero-duty policy specifically for textiles within the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Recognizing the win-win situation it presents, such a policy would benefit both the EU and Indian textile industries. Additionally, policy alignment between the EU and India, particularly in industry-related laws, was emphasized to create a level playing field and reduce discrepancies.

The panel discussion on EU-India textile cooperation and the FTA was co-moderated by Dr Amit Lath, CEO of Sharda Group of Companies and recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2023 and Mr. Pratik Gadia, Founder & CEO The Yarn Bazaar. Joining the panel were esteemed participants including Mr. Dirk Vantghem, Director General of EURATEX; Mr. Sanjay Jain, Chairman of the ICC Textile Committee and Managing Director of TT Limited; Dr. Lalit Shyaam Tekchandani, Co-founder of; and Mr. Bhadresh Dodhia, Chairman of the Synthetic & Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council and Director Dodhia Group

"Conferences like this hold immense significance as they bring together a wide range of stakeholders with a shared goal: strengthening the relationship between the European Union and India. By attracting influential figures from the EU-India corridors, including representatives from European Parliament, trade body representatives and business leaders, these conferences offer a unique platform for delegates to engage with decision-makers who have the power to address their concerns and shape the future. EU India Leaders Conference 2023 marks our 28th summit in Europe and our 4th major engagement at the prestigious European Parliament over the past 12 years. With each passing year, we witness a growing enthusiasm among companies to explore opportunities in the EU India corridor," said Sujit S Nair., MSc, MBA, FRSA, Chairperson, Europe India Centre for Business and Industry.

Dr Amit Lath, CEO of Sharda Group of Companies, said, “The discussion was quite thought-provoking, and highlighted the challenges and opportunities for both India and the European Union. The Yarn Bazaar, and Pratik in particular, have worked very hard to bring this panel together and address the key issues both sides need to overcome in order to boost the industry and gain economic benefit. Key to India’s growth as a global textile leader will be a renewed and sustained focus on quality. Given the myriad standards prevalent even within EU-27, it is imperative that the Indian textile industry develop and adhere to a benchmark that consistently meets the varied requirements of the EU market. I am hopeful that our meeting will go a long way towards strengthening bilateral relations and driving solutions that will work for all parties.”

“The conference was skillfully moderated by Amit Lath ji and Pratik Gadia, representing The Yarn Bazaar, renowned leaders in the textile industry. Their expertise and guidance ensured productive discussions and meaningful insights throughout the event. During the conference, I engaged in robust exchanges, exploring a wide range of issues related to the EU-India FTA. The discussions encompassed the advantages that this trade agreement can offer, such as increased market access, enhanced bilateral cooperation, and economic growth for both the EU and India. Additionally, the challenges associated with regulatory harmonization, market competition, and protection of local industries were also thoroughly examined,” noted Bhadresh Dodhia, Chairman, Synthetic & Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council and Director Dodhia Group

“India & EU have complementing strengths in the textile Industry, that can turn into a global winner if an FTA is done between them. EU technology, design, brands and technical strengths, if leveraged by India, can lead to a win-win situation for both sides,” said Sanjay Jain, Chairman of the ICC Textile Committee and Managing Director of TT Limited.

Responding to a question about greater collaboration between India and the European Union, Dr. Lalit Shyaam Tekchandani, Co-founder,, said, “India has a middle-class population of 600 million, which is equivalent to that of several countries combined. So, clearly, we have the numbers. We invite the European Union to India with open arms. You have the technology, and we have the labour and land. Come and Make With India. Let us collaborate with each other to our mutual benefit. India has a strong government, a strong Prime Minister. We understand that there are some bureaucratic hurdles, but we can work together to ease them and make things work for the EU.”

"As a representative of The Yarn Bazaar, I am thrilled to be part of the EU-India Leaders Conference 2023, and contribute to the discussions on textile cooperation and the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The synergy between the EU and India is a key driving force that holds immense potential to conquer the global textile market. By combining the strengths of the European Union's expertise in innovation, sustainability, and quality with India's robust labour force, comprehensive textile ecosystem, and collaborative nature, we can create a formidable alliance that sets new industry benchmarks. This synergy not only fosters economic growth but also paves the way for sustainable and responsible practices, making a positive impact on the global textile landscape," said Pratik Gadia, Founder & CEO, The Yarn Bazaar, who was a speaker and co-moderator for the panel discussion on EU-India textile cooperation. 

The conference also emphasized the significance of technology transfer and research collaboration in textile design and innovation. Building partnerships and providing support for European institutions were identified as key factors in facilitating the exchange of knowledge and expertise. This collaborative approach aims to propel the industry forward and drive innovation in a rapidly evolving market.

Furthermore, to expedite progress and build confidence between the EU and India, the conference discussed the possibility of an early harvest approach, which would facilitate quicker agreements and tangible outcomes in specific areas, paving the way for further cooperation and stronger trade ties.

This milestone event sets the stage for an enhanced textile partnership between India and the EU, opening doors to remarkable opportunities and paving the way for a prosperous future.

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