Chairman's word - February 2017

Dear Friends,
2017 is well upon us and Spring is around the corner.
We’ve also had a beautiful start to the year with the 58th edition of our India International Garment Fair for Autumn Winter 2017-18. An overwhelming response from the exporter community through active and repeated participation makes us confident about the importance of this event. Buyers, from around fifty five countries, turned up in large numbers to make this business event successful.
Our participation in the Hong Kong Fashion Week 2017 was also very fruitful. We travel this month to participate in Sourcing at Magic, USA, with interested exporters, with a lot of optimism.
Not only are we setting new milestones in our efforts to reach out to new Buyers and Brands, but, have also been working to consolidate our backend. AEPC kick started its cluster development initiative by adopting the Metiabruz cluster in Kolkata.  An MoU was signed between the West Bengal State Government and AEPC at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2017. The program aims at capacity building of small entrepreneurs in the cluster, towards export to countries and buyers. The MOU also discusses the establishment of an AEPC Knowledge Centre to provide information and assistance to manufacturers.
Another landmark development in our engagement with the states has been the signing of two MoUs in the First North East Investors’ Summit, in January 2017. AEPC has partnered in Meghalaya and Assam, for facilitating mentor-ship in technical, design, production, marketing and other apparel export related matters.
The Economic Survey 2017, released on the last day of January, reemphasized the importance and potential of the Apparel sector for “generating jobs that are formal and productive, providing bang-for-buck, in terms of jobs created relative to investment and generating exports and growth”.  While recognizing the sector as a vehicle for broader social transformation in the country, the survey recommended reforms in labour and tax policies to make the Indian Apparel sector globally competitive. AEPC, too, has been demanding the faster and full roll out of the package to ensure better utilisation of current international opportunities.
 AEPC continues to seamlessly maintain it’s direct interaction with the exporters through ‘Interactive sessions and Reminder Series on the Special Package’.  This month, we organized seminars at Ludhiana, Mumbai, Tirupur, Bengaluru and Jaipur. Over 700 exporters attended the sessions. Senior officers from the Textile Commissioner’s office, PF office and Dept of labour were also invited to understand the procedural and technical issues faced by exporters and address their concerns. Live demonstration and guidance on form-filling and procedures, on online platforms, are also being used. However, the concern on release of ROSL remains and we are working towards that.
 Our efforts are continuing, and I hope they encourage you to recommit yourself to scale new heights in the global apparel marketplace, to being an instrument of industry development and growth, and to working for a common, greater good for the nation.
Please friends, as mentioned earlier do connect with me for any suggestions that you may have to help Aepc serve you better.
Celebrate the onset of a colorful Spring Summer 2017!
Warmest Regards,
Ashok G Rajani
Chairman, AEPC