LAHORE: The International Apparel Federation (IAF) has announced that it will organise 35th World Fashion Convention in Pakistan in November 2019, a move which could further place the country’s textile sector in the global limelight.
“Every year we introduce a country to the rest of the world and this year, we will organise IAF convention in Pakistan,” said IAF General Secretary Matthijs Crietee while briefing the media at TEXPO on Friday. “The board of directors chose Pakistan because of its prominent textile and apparel sector, which has considerable potential of growth.”
Reiterating the agenda, Crietee detailed that IAF aimed at building smarter, stronger and sustainable global supply chain of textile products through physical interactions and discussions of IAF members.
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The announcement comes at a time when Pakistan is struggling to enhance its export base and Prime Minister Imran Khan is making utmost efforts to attract foreign investments and expertise in the country along with promotion of soft image of Pakistan to the world.
The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) termed it the biggest achievement for dragging the country out of an economic crisis by boosting exports of value-added textile products while benefiting from GSP plus status.
PRGMEA further recalled its years-long efforts to bring IAF to Pakistan.
IAF is an international trade association whose members comprise national clothing associations and companies having core businesses of sourcing, designing, development, manufacturing, distribution and retail of apparel products.
The federation has presence in 60 countries with more than 150,000 companies on board.
In previous years, the convention has been held in Hong Kong, Netherlands, Brazil, India, US and China.
This year, Pakistan managed to win the bid by defeating Russia and Bangladesh
Speaking on the occasion, PRGMEA Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar termed the convention a unique opportunity for Pakistan’s apparel industry to learn new techniques.
“In the upcoming convention, we will have a detailed presentation on Pakistan and its apparel sector for creating awareness regarding the potential of our country as production hub of textile items especially garments,” Khokhar said.
The convention provides its participants an opportunity to discuss issues faced by the global industry and also to network at a global level.
Khokhar was of the view that the convention was being held in Pakistan at a time when the world’s population was set to cross the next billion.
He added that the provision of clothing to the rising population in a sustainable manner would be a big challenge.
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In addition to this, adoption of new materials, technologies and catering to consumer demands would be another challenge in the post fourth industrial revolution era, he highlighted.
“This will be the first time, when all IAF members will visit Pakistan and observe its textile and apparel industry,” he stressed. “This will give a boost to local manufacturers in terms of marketing and connections with the rest of the world and create value addition for our products besides offering joint ventures.”
He opined that the convention would promote Pakistan’s soft image as leading fashion retailers and brands would visit the country and discuss Pakistan on international forums.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2019.
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