Commerce Minister for serious efforts to increase value-addition in textile sector

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir Khan, on Saturday underlined the need for serious and well-planned efforts for increasing value-addition in textile sector for capturing more share in the regional and international markets.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s three-day international Textile Asia Exhibition at Lahore Expo Centre, the federal minister explained that Pakistan textile export has decreased but it was low-valued textile products like cotton, yarn and gray fabric, because value-added garment sector export has registered significant growth.

“Pakistan’s exports of Readymade Garments grew 10.05% to $2.101bn in 2014-15 from $1.909bn, despite the internal and external challenges.”

It is unfortunate that Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producing country in the world but it failed in converting this local produce in to value-added products. It fetches only 1.17 billion dollars per million bales whereas our competitors Bangladesh gets 6 billion dollar and India gets 1.79 billion dollars, the Minister added.

“I want every staple length of our cotton and yarn be transformed into cloth and garments for export. Value addition is needed in entire chain of textile sector. It is blessing in disguise that low value textile products export has decreased, giving us opportunity to convert it in high value,” the Minister said while talking to media.

He appreciated the PRGMEA for conducting such a huge textile show and announcing full support to the apparel sector to continue its high performance. The minister said that PRGMEA takes initiative with the collaboration of Ecommerce gateway and bring textile machinery fair in Pakistan to increase productivity and for better competitiveness.

The PRGMEA mega fair is going to provide the local small textile industry a best opportunity where more than 350 international brands from around 29 countries have displayed their products in more than 500 stalls, he added.

On this occasion, the PRGMEA central chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that the exhibition is aimed at focusing the immense buying and selling potential of textile and garment machinery, accessories, raw material supplies, chemicals and allied services under one roof.

He briefed the minister about the precarious position of Punjab’s textile units, saying the value-added textile industry was in a grip of severe crisis since more than a quarter of the total production capacity could not be utilised on account of energy crisis, lack of funds and high production cost.

PRGMEA vice chairman Malik Naseer observed that billions of rupees of textile exporters were blocked in sales tax and customs rebate and other schemes introduced in the textile policy for 2009-14.

Dr. Khurshid Nizam, the president of Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan, observed that the event will provide an effective podium for joint ventures and collaborations to the textile sector SMEs, 80 percent of which are located in Punjab, having no financial capacity to attend international exhibition. So, the mega fair is going to provide them a best opportunity to enhance their production and export.