Rita Menon, the top official in India's textiles ministry, predicts the country's garment exports will rise to US$14bn for the year to March 2012, 26% higher than the previous year.

Ministry secretary Menon told clothing exporters at the India International Garment Fair in New Delhi "there is a good demand [for Indian garments] not only from traditional [western] markets but also from new [emerging] markets".

She noted that Indian garment exports increased to US$2.3bn this April and May, 30% higher than the same period last year and the government is expecting the trend to continue.

According to the conference organiser, India's Apparel Export Promotion Council, trade officials and clothing exporters are trying to create fresh demand in Russia, Turkey, Japan and South America.

Presently United States and European Union consume 80% of India's garment exports. The Council also expects to grab western market share from China, due to its labour cost increases.

By Raghavendra Verma.