LAHORE: The significance of textile sector in Pakistan’s economy can hardly be debated and in terms of strategy Punjab needs to place special emphasis on growing the value-added garment industry.
This was discussed at a roundtable meeting convened by the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT), which was attended by textile sector stakeholders.
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Participants were of the view that it was a relatively low energy consuming industry and had immense job creation potential. In that regard, exploring linkages with China, especially with the industry on China’s west coast, which is closer to Pakistan, in the form of contract manufacturing of garments could be an interesting avenue to explore.
This strategy could be very important given the rising domestic consumption in China. It was highlighted that the government of Punjab could also work with large textile players in the country for implementing the strategy through its special economic zones such as the Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park.
The meeting participants called for addressing the energy price differential between provinces and releasing the tax rebate the government owed to the industry. The textile sector is the largest employer of industrial labour and accounts for over 60% of total exports from Pakistan.
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In the face of a competitive regional landscape with countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam emerging as sizable players, Pakistan must defend and invest in the entire value chain of the textile sector including innovative solutions for enhancing cotton yield, the meeting noted.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2018.
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