KARACHI: The first ever four-day product-specific exhibition by the name of Texpo Pakistan 2016 kicked off on Thursday, aiming to showcase the country’s textile products to potential markets across the world.
The exhibition was organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and inaugurated by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir and Sri Lanka’s Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. A large number of stalls of textile products including garments, sports kits, bed sheets, towels and leather goods were set up by manufactures. The stalls were visited by local as well as foreign businessmen.
Dastgir, in his address, said that Pakistan was taking every step to enhance its exports, especially in the field of textiles. The aim of such exhibitions was to reach out to the global markets, he added.
The delegation from Hong Kong also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the trade bodies. Productive meetings were held between the representatives of the trade bodies and the delegates from Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam and France.
Ambassadors of Pakistan from Netherlands, Vietnam and Brazil led their business delegations for the exhibition.
However, local textile manufacturers were disappointed. Once again, they argued, TDAP has failed to attract viable textile importers, particularly from the United States, European Union and Scandinavian States. The producers believed that majority of the participants are from those countries where textile products are either produced in abundance by the country itself or from those countries where Pakistan’s garments has no potential market.
Many of the local manufacturers, who had set up their stalls, were of the opinion that the first day interaction at the Texpo showed that many visitors at the expo were just travellers with free tickets and accommodation provided by TDAP. Viable textile importers they had been expecting were nowhere to be found, they argued.
Muhammad Javed, owner of King Clothing, exports garments to EU and US markets. He had come to the exhibition expecting to make contacts with visitors from potential markets. “However, most of the visitors are from Bangladesh, Jordan, China, Vietnam and other less developed countries where they themselves produce textile goods. There is no logic in bringing them again to the Texpo.
“There is no use of such delegates if textile products in their own countries are cheaper than ours or they have no interest in our products,” he noted.
Javed contended that these people show up merely because of the free tickets citing previous exhibitions where such delegates visited only to exchange their credentials and addresses, but never responded to follow-up emails.
Kashif Munawar, another manufacturer from Askari Apparel had, more or less, the same views about the arrangements. “Our target markets are US and EU countries and people from these countries are very few here.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2016.
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