Working condition: Ensuring global standards to improve labour productivity

Expert acknowledges progress, but major challenges still remain

Imran Rana February 16, 2017

FAISALABAD: The implementation of social and labour standards could bring economic benefits over the medium term through increased motivation and productivity of workers, emphasised an expert who was working on sustainable development.

Speaking at an informative session at the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) office on Wednesday, GIZ technical expert Noor Khan underscored the importance of ratifying and implementing international labour standards for the business community.

GIZ, which works on international cooperation for sustainable development worldwide, is promoting social and labour standards by supporting private and state institutions through its project “Social and labour standards in the textile and garment sector”.

Khan highlighted the interventions made by federal and provincial governments to improve working condition in Pakistan. “Visible progress is being made in complying with social and labour standards, however, the industry still faces some major challenges,” he said.

He cited a number of avenues where Pakistan’s textile manufacturers in collaboration with GIZ could bring improvement in work practices, leading to an increase in exports to Europe.

He asked industrialists to implement the international labour standards in their industrial units to enhance Pakistan’s ranking in Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI).

PTEA Vice Chairman Muhammad Naeem briefly highlighted core functions of the textile exporters’ body and praised GIZ Pakistan for its role in enhancing compliance with global standards.

He said foreign trade had a lot of attached responsibilities as international buyers were increasingly getting sensitive about ethical sourcing and international compliance.

“The textile industry is keen to collaborate with GIZ for improving working conditions and implementing the international labour standards,” he said, adding the move would lead to an increase in Pakistan’s foreign trade volume and upgrade the country’s WGI ranking.

He assured GIZ of full support and cooperation in the application of labour laws and standards in the textile industry.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2017.

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