Producing High Value-added Textiles to Keep Exports Growing

By Mariam Raheem | Gwadar Pro Jul 22, 2022

LAHORE, July 22. (Gwadar Pro)-Pakistan exported textiles worth $19.329 billion during fiscal year 2021-22 against the exports of $15.399 billion during fiscal year 2020-21, showing a growth of 25.53 percent, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Readymade garments exports reached $3.904 billion in FY2021-22 against $3.032 billion in FY2020-21, showing a growth of 28.75%. 

Adeeb Iqbal Sheikh, Former Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) told Gwadar Pro that Pakistan’s response to COVID-19, government subsidies for gas and electricity, and consumer panic caused by global inflation are behind the surge in exports. The export share of textiles is about 60% in Pakistan, but Pakistan’s share of textile and clothing export in the international market is only 2%. In this context, policy coherence is essential to enhance business confidence.

Yasin Siddik, Former Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, estimated that the export potential of Pakistan’s textile could be doubled, yet was limited by high energy costs and outdated and inadequate infrastructures. Accordingly, Pakistan’s power distribution system should be developed to meet international standards. 

The textile industry is the most important manufacturing industry in Pakistan, with a relatively complete industrial chain: from raw cotton, cotton ginning, spinning, cloth, printing and dyeing to garment manufacturing. Nevertheless, if the growth rate of raw materials cannot keep up with the pace of industrial development, it will become a major barrier to textile development. 

Usman Muhammad Khawaja, CEO of Excell group, which imports raw materials including polyester and viscose fibers from China, emphasized that the demand for viscose staple fiber, denier yarn, denier polyester is high in Pakistan, but there is not a single factory manufacturing the fiber in the country. He believes it will be a win-win situation for Chinese entrepreneurs with technical expertise to set up factories in Pakistan.

Du Zhenli, Deputy Director-General of China International Engineering Consulting Corporation (CIECC), andHonorable Investment Counsellor (HIC) of the Board of Investment (BoI), Pakistan also highlighted that the cotton surplus in Pakistan can be made into viscose fiber and chemical fiber from natural fiber. He added that, “besides artificial fiber manufacturing, there is more room for China-Pakistan cooperation in garment manufacturing, textile skills training.”

With the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan’s infrastructure has been greatly improved, providing basic conditions for attracting foreign investment. Building garment factories along CPEC routes and efficient railways to export garments will generate huge profits. Syed Emad Raza, Chairman of Manufacturers and Exporters Ferozepur Road Association (MEFRA), Lahore told Gwadar Pro that Pakistan should reduce the export of textile materials and maximize the use of all fabrics for value-added clothing. 

In this regard, Sajid Saleem Minhas, a member of Board of Directors, Punjab Industrial Estates Development and Management Company (PIEDMC), said that one of the challenges for garment manufacturing is accessories, such as buttons and zippers. In addition, digital systems are ubiquitous and a one-stop window will greatly facilitate the export of ready-made garments.

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