LAHORE: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Punjab Chairman Adil Bashir has vowed to work with the European Union (EU) on all the initiatives to ensure sustainability and growth of the textile industry in Pakistan.
Talking to EU Ambassador-Designate to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara on Tuesday, Bashir said Aptma had played an active part in securing the EU GSP Plus status for Pakistan in 2014 to widen its market access.
“Since then, exports from Pakistan to the EU have increased 62%,” he said. “In the early years, following approval of the facility, Pakistan’s exports to the EU grew significantly but they have become stagnant at €5.5 billion for the last three years.”
He stressed that the present government had taken special measures to encourage industrialisation and exports, and the business environment was rapidly transforming in the country.
He added that Aptma, in collaboration with the government, was formulating a long-term textile policy to set the direction for the sustainability and growth of Pakistan’s textile sector.
“Investors are keenly looking forward to undertake BMR (balancing, modernisation, and replacement), expansion and greenfield investment projects in all sub-sectors of the textile value chain subject to creation of an enabling environment,” he pointed out.
He said the industry had envisaged a 100% increase in textile and clothing exports to $26 billion in the next five years with an investment of $7 billion.
The visiting envoy said the textile industry of Pakistan needed to prepare itself for meeting the challenges of sustaining the GSP Plus status in a bid to increase exports to the EU.
“Global consumer perception has completely changed and it has become more conscious about environment-friendly products,” she said. “There is no doubt that Pakistan has a vast potential to double exports, however, perception management is the key for the government and industry to maintain and sustain exports.”
Separately, during a visit to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the ambassador said Pakistan and the EU had immense potential to enhance trade in various sectors besides textiles.
She stressed that Pakistan needed to produce goods that were considered competitive in the EU. “We are ready to help Pakistan enhance exports to the EU and would like to be its partner in this regard,” she affirmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2019.