Instant measures required for EoDB and increased exports: Mian Zahid Hussain

BUSINESS

KARACHI – President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that textile sector plays vital role in Country’s economy; having 8.5 percent share in GDP, 40 percent share in industrial workforce, 25 percent share in industrial value addition and 21 percent share in large scale manufacturing. Readymade garment is most important subsector of textile and plays an important role in exports and women employment.

The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that despite the importance of garments sector in Pakistan’s economy, the sector has not been able to attain its potential in terms of the underlying capacity of Pakistan’s textile sector; main reasons include lack of product and market diversification, low value addition and low export competitive. Despite having GSP+ Pakistan’s share of EU imports increased by roughly 0.5 percent in both categories of knitted and woven garments over 2013-2017. However in the same time share of Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam increased by roughly 6, 2, and 1.1 percent respectively. It shows that the great opportunity of GSP+ has been missed and the leftover market has been captured by competitors.

The Former Minister said that for strengthening textile particularly garments sector, it is important to focus on domestic supply chain, adaption of latest technology, easy and affordable access to industrial raw material and capacity building of industrial workforce. It is also important to make the access to credit convenient and easy especially for the SME sector and reform policies to make the complex bank system of acquiring credit simple and friendly. Current Govt. is working on improving the EoDB and Prime Minister Imran Khan has already issued instructions in this regard, however, instant practical measures are need of time.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that exports of garments sector stood at around $ 5 billion in 2017 and Pakistan’s share in the global market was around 1.1 percent. Govt. can increase exports further by considering the recommendations of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, which is working for improvement of this sector.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that GSP+ status is valid till 2023, meanwhile Government should form GSP export authority with collaboration of experienced and leading manufacturers and traders of export oriented products / services. The authority should be held responsible for providing all requisite facilities to the export oriented sectors like branding, value addition, research, certification, easy financing and quality control in order to get maximum of GSP+ status and boost Country’s exports to a next level.