India has been chosen to play host to the International Silk Association's (ISA) 23rd Congress in December 2001 for the first time in 50 years.

ISA general secretary, Xavier Gavyn Lavergne, said that the congress would allow the country to showcase silk production and technology for international buyers and to "understand how India can play an international role."

The ISA congress was expected to give the much needed fillip to the Indian silk industry. The choice of the venue was the recognition of India's emergence as a major international player in the silk market, said industry players.

Along with the opening up of imports, the Indian silk industry has now become integrated with the global unit. There has been a world wide fall in the production of silk including China, Brazil and Korea.

The ISA comprises 42 member countries including India, and represents both producers and consumers. It also owns an international silk mark which can be used by members to denote 100 per cent pure silk products.