British minister for cabinet office Rt Hon Francis Maude called on federal minister for textile industry Abbas Khan Afridi

Islamabad, February 17, 2015 (PPI-OT): The British Minister for Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Rt Hon Francis Maude called on the federal minister for textile industry Abbas Khan Afridi. British High Commissioner Mr. Philip Barton, Secretary Textiles Amir Marwat and other officials from British High Commission and Ministry of textile industry were also present in the meeting.

The Federal Minister apprised the British minister of the potential of the textile sector of Pakistan. The federal minister added that the textile sector is one of the most important industrial sectors of the country. It is not only the highest foreign exchange earner but also provides employment to 40% of total industrial workforce of the country. Due to its importance, the Government has always been taking measures aimed at textiles sector’s promotion and development through various support schemes, policy interventions and capacity building.

Minister Afridi mentioned that the Textile Policy 2014-19, would address the issues of all the sub-sectors of value-chain by laying down a comprehensive plan for the sustainable growth for the next five years. The minister reiterated that we aim to double the exports to $26 billion by 2019.

It may appear ambitious but only value addition to 13 million bales / annum that we produce can easily help us achieve the desired target. The minister expressed his resolve for the full utilization of the GSP-plus status. The federal minister admitted that provision of uninterrupted energy remains an issue, but the govt is tackling the energy crisis quite well.

The Federal Minister added that public-private partnership initiative for labour law compliance between ILO and PTEA would result in enhanced compliance to international standards. This would help to maintain GSP plus status as well as enhance business productivity and sustainability.

The Partnership Agreement includes a comprehensive framework on improving industrial relations through training and compliance with International Labour Standards that include occupational safety and health, wages, nature of employment, discrimination, forms of mal labour practices and strengthening employers’ and workers’ organizations in garment and textile industry.

Minister Afridi had a detailed discussion on FATA with the British minister. He highlighted that mega projects like universities, vocational training institutes, infrastructure development is mandatory for FATA uplift. FATA Reforms Committee under the guidance of governor KPK is working diligently on the reforms and would come up with workable and effective recommendations soon.

The British cabinet minister hailed the initiatives being taken by the Government of Pakistan and Ministry of textile industry for textile sector’s development and sustainability. The honourable guest assured full support and cooperation of British government in areas of mutual interest.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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