Japan's Uniqlo may source garments from India

Customers walk out of a Uniqlo store at Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping centre in Beijing on May 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Customers walk out of a Uniqlo store at Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping centre in Beijing on May 12, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI (REUTERS) - Fast Retailing Co Ltd's Uniqlo, Japan's largest clothing store chain, is looking to source garments from India, Uniqlo's Chairman Tadashi Yanai told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to an Indian government statement.

Mr Modi welcomed Uniqlo's interest in developing its business in India and highlighted the benefits the country's garment sector offers, the statement said on Wednesday.

Uniqlo has long been eyeing the Indian market to open its stores and industry officials said it is a likely step in that direction.

Officials with Uniqlo could not immediately be reached for comment and the Indian government statement gave no further details.

Fast Retailing, Asia's top apparel retailer, has manufacturing partners in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

In 2012, India allowed single brand retailers like Uniqlo full ownership of their Indian operations, but required them to source 30 percent of their goods from small and village industries.