t the recent Techtextil in Frankfurt, the leading numbers of non-European visitors came
from the United States, Japan and India. The interest from Indian textile manufacturers is a big
step for India, which is still considered a traditional textile country. However, times are
In view of the experience of the Indian textile manufacturers, and interest from Indian
visitors at other shows, Messe Frankfurt has decided to host Techtextil India. The inaugural event
will be held Oct. 10-12, 2007, at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.
The Indian government plans to invest in infrastructure – including buildings, construction
and roads – opening the door for the use of geotextile products.
The global market for technical
textile products stood at US$107 billion in 2005, and is expected to reach US$127 billion by 2010,
growing at a 3.3-percent annual rate. In the same period, India’s domestic market is expected to
grow 11.25 percent, to US$12.4 billion from US$6.7 billion.
The most important markets for technical textiles and nonwovens are the United States and
Europe — primarily Germany, Great Britain and Spain. However, India is showing more interest these
days, a fact that is confirmed by many European textile machinery manufacturers.
Indian enterprises are working
primarily in the traditional textile industry. However, a growing share of their sales volume is
realized with technical textiles and nonwovens. In India, technical textiles account for 17 percent
of textile production, with a share of not more than 3 percent of the world market. The government
is willing to help the industry gain a larger foothold in the market for technical textiles and, to
this end, already has cut customs duties. Investments are also planned in the field of technical
textiles and nonwovens, as well as in the medical and garment sectors. According to information
from the Indian Ministry of Textiles, the domestic market for technical textiles is expected to be
worth around US$7 billion by 2007.
According to analysts, the real engine of world growth in the end-use consumption of
technical textiles and nonwovens lies in Asia, and the fastest growth prospects appear to lie in
new markets such as India. This sector in India has largely been untapped. The main areas of demand
are geotextiles for road and railway constructions; and textiles for the automobile industry,
environmental protection, wastewater and dust filtration.
Open Doors For New Business
With competition in the global
textile market on the rise, Indian textile companies are increasingly looking at higher-value-added
products and diversification into technical textiles for a profitable business. “The technical
textiles industry has already attracted US$222 million in investments and is set to attract
investments up to US$2,500 million over the next four years,” said S. Vaghela, Union Textiles
In a recent report on Geotextiles for Roadways in India, the government said it is very
enthusiastic about the future and the need for these textile products. The use of geotextiles in
highway applications aims at better-quality roads and making them more economical, either through
greater durability, long life — thus reducing maintenance costs — or lower initial costs. Massive
investments are being planned in India for infrastructure developments in terms of roads, ports,
airport modernization, buildings and construction, water sewage and other industrial
The total length of India’s road network is 3.3 million kilometers — the second-largest in
the world. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to implement US$3.2
billion for infrastructure. It is estimated that out of a US$311 billion investment by 2012 for
total infrastructure, approximately 10 percent, or US$34 billion, will be spent on roads alone. In
the last four to five years, large quantities of imported geotextiles have been used. As the Indian
government indicates in the report: “It is clear that geotextiles are a proven technology and no
more of pilot studies are required. It is necessary that the construction authorities include
geotextiles in tender documents and create awareness of appropriate geotextiles for different
applications.” This too, shows the government’s awareness of industrial textile products and
presents a big opportunity for Indian textile manufacturers.
According to the organizers of
Techtextil India, the fair has received an excellent response with confirmed participation from
both domestic and international companies. Germany will have its own event, “High-Tex from
Germany,” located in a special pavilion sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and
Technology. To complete the event, a two-day conference on technical textiles and nonwovens is
planned. The conference will focus on new trends and developments in technical textiles technology.
Textile World Asia
also will participate at the conference by presenting a paper.