A joint statement, as a prologue to the FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) comprising Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus had been signed between India and EEU at St. Petersburg in Russia few days back.
It viewed the establishment of a joint study group to work out the formalities including the finalization of the sectors that would be part of the FTA.
This decision to sign the Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is seen by the Tirupur knitwear exporters as a window to access the huge Russia apparel market.
R. Dhanapal, an exporter said that as soon as the FTA will been signed, the exporters from clusters like Tirupur and its hinterland will be enthused to eye Russian market more because of the inherent incentives available in duty front under any free trade pact which makes the Indian products cost-competitive.
T. R. Ramanathan, an industry consultant, commented that they had already been representing to the authorities and made them convinced the need to have a FTA with Russia with textiles included in it, considering the immense market potential in that country.
During 2013-14, Russia has imported apparel items worth $ 7.5 billion and of which, Indiaâ€™s share was only $ 268 million.
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