By Devika Jyothi
ITC and the India International Textile Machinery Exhibition Society (India ITME Society) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on technology transfer and investment from India’s textile sector to East Africa. Â Mr. S. Hari Shankar, Chairman, India ITME Society and Mr. Govind Venuprasad, SITA Coordinator, formally exchanged the MOU at the 2nd Global Textile Technology and Engineering Show (GTTES 2019) held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from 18th to 20th January 2019.
The MOU will guide collaboration to identify and mobilise Indian textile companies interested in investing in East Africa; promote East Africa as an investment destination; organize visits to East Africa for members of India ITME society; and provide market and investment intelligence on East Africa to member companies of India ITME society.
Significantly, GTTES 2019 saw the launch of ITME Africa 2020, another initiative under the MOU, which will allow the India ITME society to explore trade and investment opportunities in Africa. India ITME Society will collaborate with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA) to organise ITME Africa 2020, envisioned as a large-scale textile event, with ITC- SITA acting as trade and investment support partner. The theme of the first ITME Africa will be ‘Prosperity for Africa through Textile Technology’, and will be held in Addis Ababa in February 2020.
Beyond exchanging the MOU, SITA facilitated the participation of 13 delegates from textile and apparel companies at GTTES 2019; Three each from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda; and two each from Rwanda and Kenya. Textile machinery manufacturers from across the globe, showcased their latest technology to potential business partners at the event. Besides enabling companies to engage with industry stakeholders, GTTES 2019 presented diverse sourcing solutions for textile technology as well as exposure to new opportunities in Africa.
A one-stop sourcing solution, GTTES provided a good opportunity for textile companies as well as machinery and accessory manufacturers to explore new markets, new customers and new opportunities.
On the sidelines of the event, SITA organised B2B meetings between the East African delegates and Indian textile technology companies; as well as international companies looking for potential business opportunities in East Africa.
Mr. Samuel Mwangi, Director of Mantoz Enterprises – a garment factory in Nairobi looking for backward integration to produce fabrics in cotton and polyester and blends – commented, ‘At GTTES, I had an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs in the same sector that gives me encouragement to proceed with my vision for the company. I also got a chance to see the machines available in the Indian market. I had previously been looking for machines in the European market but I got alternative options from the exhibitors.’
SITA also participated in the industry interactive session, ‘Ethiopia 2020- Emerging HUB for Textile & Apparel Industry’ organised by ITME India to discuss the opportunity that ITME Africa offers for the textile and textile engineering industry in India and globally. Sharing SITA’s experience in the sector, Mr. Venuprasad said, ‘In Ethiopia, SITA is working with an Indian social enterprise to pilot a producer-owned business model, bringing in new technologies from India such as semi-automated looms, solar amber charkha, and drawing on Indian best practices to address constraints in the value chain. For instance, setting up yarn-banks is a common site in nearly all handloom clusters in India, but would be a first in Ethiopia.’
‘We are very proud to say that we are increasing the use of natural dyes in Ethiopia, which also illustrates how SITA is promoting environmentally friendly practices’, he said.
SITA looks forward to facilitating more interactions between Indian and East African textile companies at ITME Africa 2020!