Government recognises the significance of signing the free-trade agreement with EU and the advantages it holds for the country, a top official said today. Textiles Secretary Rashmi Verma said her Ministry "is in constant touch with the Ministry of Commerce to pursue an FTA with EU to boost international trade especially in the textile sector". Verma pointed out that while Bangladesh enjoys preferential treatment and tax benefits for textile exports, India has greater competitive advantage in terms of environmental compliances. As countries of the European Union lay huge importance to environmental compliances, India stands to gain over Bangladesh, she said, laying out the benefits for the country arising post the free trade agreement. Observing that India's textile industry was at a turning point, Verma said: "On one hand, China's export growth in textiles is decreasing, India, riding on cost advantage, has a huge potential to play a prominent role in international textile trade". She further said that roll out of the Goods and Services Tax will greatly help in streamlining the tax structure and improve compliance. The Textiles Secretary appealed to industry to take full advantage of the special package announced by the government for the textile sector, stressing that it needs to focus on innovation, modernisation and technological advancement to become world-leaders in the textile sector. Stressing on the importance of skilling the workforce to become globally competitive, Verma said that at least 10 lakh workers need to be skilled every year to meet the demands of the industry and create employment in the textile sector.
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