India's Apparel Export Promotion Council says the decline in exports of readymade garments is not as bad as first feared.

They say the decline was only 18.45 per cent when viewed against the target of $6,500m.

Figures just released reveal that exports of readymade garments during the period April -March 2000-01 accounted for 1,392.5 million pieces valued at $5,300.6m.

Exports to both the US and European Union showed an increase. There was a an increase of 9.15 per cent in terms of volume and 3.78 per cent in terms of value to the European Union.

To the US, there was an increase of 5.98 per cent in terms of volume and 16.38 per cent in terms of value.

On the whole, exports of readymade garments to quota restricted countries showed an increase of 7.21 per cent in terms of volume and 9.23 per cent in terms of value.

By Deborah Bowyer