Need stressed to explore new textile export markets

Karachi: The Zonal Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Atiq Kochra has urged the government and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to make strenuous efforts to find new markets for textile sector as Pakistan’s traditional markets i.e. USA and EU are facing recession and the exports to these markets are gradually decreasing.

“The global economy is once again going through a crisis and as a result Pakistan’s exports are also taking a hit because USA and the EU are its largest trading partners”, said Atiq adding that it can be expected that these economies will remain in recession in the short to medium term and Pakistan urgently needs to diversity its export destinations in order to minimize the effects of recession in the West.

While, demand is expected to go down considerably it is also expected that protectionist policies will be implemented by various countries to protect their local industry, he said.

Although, Pakistan has an FTA with China but exports of woven and knit garments still have an average import duty rates ranging from 814%. PRGMEA has already requested the government to bring Pakistan’s garment exports under duty-free regime with China.

He suggested that value-added garment products should be given preference when negotiating FTA’s or PTA’s especially with larger economies because, it would bolster our export earnings by a larger multiple due to value addition and, besides bring more jobs to the people as garment manufacturing is very labour intensive.

Similarly, by giving other countries access to Pakistan’s garment market would not hurt the local garment industry, simply because import market of garments is very small and majority of Pakistanis do not wear western clothing, says Kochra.

He further explained that granting of GSP Plus facility to Pakistan is an ongoing process which would likely be implemented in 2014 and not next month. He said that the government is currently doing its best to win a case for Pakistan for the proposed EU trade concessions and Pakistan’s bid for GSP Plus facility in 2014.

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