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India: As Chinese business is disrupted, Indian garment factories see opportunity to revive industry

"In China’s health crisis, Gurugram garment makers sense opportunity", 16 February 2020

The garment industry in Udyog Vihar, which saw a major slowdown in 2019 with little hope of recovery, has a chance at revival owing to the coronavirus outbreak in China...

According to garment-makers and exporters in Udyog Vihar, Western buyers, who typically rely on China’s advanced factories and cheap labour, have started placing orders with them instead, and several potential buyers have been enquiring about the units’ production capacity.

The coronavirus outbreak in China has led to a disruption in industries, even as factories and shops have shut down and flights have been suspended, multiple reports state. Exporters and manufacturers say that if the crisis continues, they expect a rise of at least 20-30% in the export of finished garments this year.

...The slowdown in the industry also led to large-scale job losses and a freeze in hiring... The garment industry in India is woman-dominated—according to the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, 2016, of 35 million employed in the textile industry, nearly 20 million are women.

...Gurugram has seen thousands of layoffs in its factories since last year. It has the country’s largest automotive hub in Manesar, and more than 40,000 workers, according to labour rights activists, have been affected by the slowdown... 

...In an industry that has not recovered from the slowdown, garment industry owners say the crisis in China could be a huge opportunity for India’s business if the government steps in to give the industry incentives...