Knitwear share in total exports may rise to 20%

By Staff Reporter | Express Tribune Jul 29, 2021

Stakeholders of the knitwear garments segment have requested the government to allow them representation in meetings related to textile exports.

In a statement on Tuesday,PakistanHosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) Chief Coordinator Muhammad Jawed Bilwani highlighted that knitwear garment exports of Pakistan had surged 36.57% in fiscal year 2020-21.

Total exports of the country rose from $21.4 billion in FY20 to $25.3 billion in the previous fiscal year and the share of textile in the overall exports came in at 60.86%.

“Hosiery products have kept a major share of 15% in the textile group and this segment has the potential to contribute 25% to the total textile exports of the country,” he said.

Bilwani added that the share of knitwear garments in total exports would rise to 20% in fiscal year 2021-22.

Had the government keenly considered proposals of the knitwear sector and addressed all problems and issues of businessmen, the contribution of knitwear garments to the total exports would have been much higher in fiscal year 2020-21, he remarked.

The export value of hosiery products rose from $2.8 billion in FY20 to $3.8 billion in FY21.

“Knitwear exports recorded an increase of 36.6% despite the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. “The segment also emerged as the highest foreign exchange earner, of $3.81 billion, in the previous fiscal year.”

He elaborated that the foreign exchange earned by the sector was 25.83% higher than the export revenue earned from exports of readymade or woven garments and 37.68% more than the receipts for bedwear exports.

If the export of knitted bedsheets and fabric was included, the total foreign exchange earned by the knitwear sector would soar to $4.5 billion, accounting for 29.2% of the entire textile group and 17.91% of the total exports, he said.

He appreciated the exporters of hosiery sector for achieving the milestone despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

He asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to focus on the knitwear sector as it had the potential to enhance exports manifold.

Bilwani pointed out that major exports of Bangladesh included knitwear products as well and they covered 43.66% of total exports of that country.

He mentioned that the annual global demand for knitwear stood at $208 billion but Pakistan’s share in the global knitwear exports stood at a meagre 1.83%.

He was of the view that Pakistan had the resources to enhance hosiery exports within a short time frame.

He, however, regretted that the government had failed to hold consultations with stakeholders of the knitwear sector on boosting exports while officials belonging to the rest of the textile chain were invited for meetings.

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