Many of the world’s top garment
retailers like H&M and MANGO have downed shutters in Russia during
the brutal invasion of Ukraine. No wonder India garment exporters are
a worried lot. As example, the Noida Cluster is a major exporter of readymade
garment products. Exports to Russia and the EU countries include t-shirts,
pullovers, jerseys, women, men and kid’s apparel, socks, hosiery
items, etc. Noida has around 3,500 readymade production-cum-export units
in operation and garments with an annual turnover of nearly USD$40,00,000
(Rs 30,000 crore) are exported. Of that 45 percent each go to the USA
and the EU countries and the remaining 10 percent are sent to Russia,
Ukraine and the CIS states.
Thukral, President, Noida Apparel Export Cluster (the Noida Apparel Export
cluster near Delhi has more than 140 members and a reach of up to 300
exporters) pointed out: “We are a bit worried regarding payments
that have got stuck due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Exporters have been
unable to contact buyers in the EU countries and Russia. In fact,”
said Thukral, “buyers are not responding and they may cancel the
Simply put, the current Russia-Ukraine conflict has given
a jolt to Indian readymade garments exporters.
“To begin with, the payments in dollars of readymade
garments already exported to Russia and EU countries are stuck. In fact,
the bank cannot exchange Russian Rubles into Dollars for the exported
items. Agreements signed between Indian garment exporters
and buyers/ importers have now become invalid because of the sanctions
“Garments were routed to Russia through Spain before
the Ukraine crisis,” said Thukral. After the global brands suspended
operations, fresh orders have come down by 25 percent, he said.
Buyers in EU countries have asked Indian exporters to hold
shipments because of the airspace restrictions on Russia. “There
is little or no possibility to come out of this problem in the near future.
As a result, we have had to dump huge quantities of consignments and block
our money,” Lalit Thukral said.