Ministry of Textiles and UNIDO organize workshop on best practices for PM MITRA textile and apparel parks

The Ministry of Textiles and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) conducted a best practices workshop on achieving sustainability, innovation and inclusion in PM MITRA parks in New Delhi on 11 July 2023 in hybrid mode. The participants included officials from Central governments and the designated PM MITRA host states (Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh), knowledge-partners and representatives of the textile and apparel industry.

The workshop was chaired by Shri Rohit Kansal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, who emphasized that the PM MITRA scheme is an initiative which is unprecedented in scale and scope. The Government’s vision for the parks is to develop a comprehensive and dynamic ecosystem, with all actors of the ecosystem present in one location, to further the textile sector’s growth, diversification and employment goals. He highlighted that the PM MITRA parks are envisaged to prioritize performance across four pillars: sale and up to date manufacturing techniques; innovation; sustainability; and rewarding employment and society opportunities. The Government aspires to make these parks best-in-class and therefore is keen to learn of best practices and frameworks that could be adopted.

Ms. Prajakta Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, further highlighted that it is imperative that aspects related to sustainability and innovation are incorporated into the PM MITRA parks from the inception stages, also emphasizing the importance of collaborative and cohesive action.

Dr. René Van Berkel, UNIDO Representative and Head, Regional Office in India, reminded that it important to move beyond a real-estate driven approach to industrial parks, to support firms to achieve higher higher productivity, sustainability and social performance. This calls for a focused vision to attract selected textile and apparel segments and commit to serving their specific hard and soft infrastructure requirements, on-boarding of value chain actors and facilitation of business linkages and collaboration in skills development, innovation and community development. This is possible with strong park ecosystems that support compliance with (and exceeding of) all applicable regulations, conformance to international standards/ expectations and adoption of innovative techniques, as well as commitment from tenant firms to adopt best practices. Such an approach would maximize the achievable impact of public investments into industrial infrastructure and ultimately position India as a host to conscious and proactive textile and apparel manufacturing and innovation hubs.

The workshop shed light on best practices relevant for strategic management and monitoring of textile and apparel parks, including the UNIDO-IFC-GIZ international framework for Eco Industrial Parks (EIP). These are accompanied by implementation guidelines and tools for assessment, design, management and monitoring of industrial parks, already successfully applied by UNIDO in industrial parks in Indonesia and Viet Nam. Brandix India Apparel City – a global best practice example of private textile park in Visakhapatnam also shared its lessons learned. The participants recognized the value of these experiences and tools for detailed planning, establishment and operation of the respective PM MITRA parks.

The workshop also provided an overview of examples of leading and emerging practices and techniques for energy and water efficiency and environmentally sound management of fibre, chemicals, effluents and wastes, as levers towards improved circularity and competitiveness in production of textiles and garments, at individual firms. These included presentations on energy efficiency and waste heat recovery measures, viscose recycling, textile recycling, green chemistry solutions, waterless dyeing techniques and digital solutions for process optimization.

The deliberations also included interactions with the States where the textile and apparel parks are being set up, who shared challenges faced and plans to ensure sustainable and market-responsive operations.

Dr. Van Berkel posited that it would be beneficial for each park to zoom in on which product and market segments and associated value chain it seeks to attract, and customize infrastructure and common facilities accordingly whilst also targeting recruitment of MNCs as anchor tenants. This would avoid duplication and unnecessary competition between states and allow for all 7 parks to jointly strengthen India’s textile manufacturing profile. Moreover, the parks may plan for scalability with staged establishment and expansion of requisite infrastructure as the park fills up with tenant firms. Furthermore, emphasis may be given to facilitate innovation and collaboration with knowledge-based institutions and manufacturers of textile and apparel machinery and chemicals (such as dyestuffs, detergents, etc.).

UNIDO reiterated that it stands ready to support respective states with the assessment of the PM MITRA parks against the international EIP framework, guidance and advisory support, including master plan development and support towards developing common infrastructure, and capacity building and technical assistance to tenant firms.