Mr. Hanif Lakhany, VP FPCCI, has paid glowing tributes to the textile industry of Pakistan for their contributions to the exports of the country, massive employment generation and resilience in the face of persistent cost of doing business challenges & ease of doing business disadvantages; including, ever-increasing electricity prices; dwindling domestic cotton production; doubling of the cost of raw material, i.e. cotton; prolonged & repetitive gas outages and harassment at the hands of tax and other authorities. He was speaking at a high-profile gathering of industrialists and government functionaries at the Federation House Karachi.
Mr. Sultan Rehman, FPCCI’s Coordinator for Head Office, said that exploration of new markets can benefit the textile manufacturers and exporters significantly; specifically mentioning African & CIS countries. He opined that fabric exports should principally be banned; and, only value-added textiles should be allowed to be exported. Mr. Sultan Rehman added that value-addition in textile exports can decisively improve Pakistan’s Foreign Exchange Reserves (FER) and stabilize rupee-dollar parity through fetching higher prices for Pakistani textile products in the international markets.
Mr. Farooq Khan, Textile Commissioner of Pakistan, pinned his hopes with the exporters and said that this year the textiles exports can cross 20 billion dollars; which, in his opinion, will be a great milestone for the industry. He mentioned only 5% of Pakistan’s value-added textiles products are using synthetic materials and this must improve to increase the production rapidly.
Mr. Mudassir Raza, Director – Textiles, Ministry of Commerce, said that his ministry is striving to promote value-addition in the textiles through skill development and helping exporters find new markets. Pakistan needs to increase its share in the international textile business; as textiles have the potential to bridge Pakistan’s ever-yawning trade deficit. He added that currently Pakistan’s share in international textile market is merely 1.8%
Mr. Haroon Shamsi, a prominent towel manufacturer & exporter, said that we have to have a closer look at the textiles export numbers; as the numbers have increased mainly on the back of increase in the price of cotton internationally and actual increase in the volumes of textiles exports may not be more than 15-20 percent unfortunately.
Mr. Hanif Lakhany said that the price of cotton has increased from 60 cents to 1.2 dollars and that raw material alone accounts for 60% of our total production costs. He also emphasized that we must work on two fronts: (i) restore domestic cotton production at least to the previous levels through fixing a support price for cotton like other crops (ii) diversify the raw material sources through incorporating all major synthetic fibers being used the world over – and, it will require massive subsidized funding for the procurement of new machinery and plants on the lines of TERF Scheme of SBP.
Mr. Hanif Lakhany, VP FPCCI, is addressing a large gathering of textile industry. Mr. Suleman Chawla, Haji Jamal Uddin Achakzai and Sultan Rehman are also present on the occasion.