OVER the centuries, traders from around the world converged on India to take home exquisite textiles. Times have changed, but the tradition of excellence of Indian textiles continues. Today, India is a leading manufacturer of man-made fibre textiles and exports product to the value of US$750 million annually to 142 countries. Europe is the largest importer and accounts for 38 per cent of Indian exports. The Middle East is the second biggest importer. It is noteworthy that in these markets, Indian items have competed against the products of such textile giants as Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The surge in exports is sustained by an unprecedented growth in every sector of the Indian fibre textile industry. A big capacity expansion in recent years has made the industry self-sufficient. Factories run strict quality control programmes and technology is transferred with other countries that are experts in producing textiles. Young and innovative professionals manage the textile plants. An army of designers and experts in step with the modern trends are constantly at work creating new effects, finishes and designs for export. Their work has helped India emerge as a reliable and sought-after textiles supplier.