Brand building in textile to boost exports

Business forum asks govt to set up five mega textile parks to aid industry


Usman Hanif August 07, 2021
PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI:

The focus on brand building in the textile industry can fetch better export volumes but unfortunately traders in Pakistan do not pay attention to this factor, said Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) President Mian Usman Zulfiqar.

Speaking to a delegation of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) on Friday, he said that Pakistan’s fashion designing and textile segments had emerged as important contributors to the national trade because of their export potential.

He was of the view that the two segments possessed tremendous potential to secure a mammoth share in the international fashion market valued at billions of dollars.

“Pakistan can grab a significant share in the global fashion industry if it succeeds in attracting the attention of foreign buyers,” he said.

Zulfiqar recommended the government to establish five mega textile parks to help turn the local industry competitive at the global level.

He stressed that the government should make it compulsory for large spinning units, having more than 30,000 spindles, to grow their own cotton for manufacturing yarn.

“The country’s textile exports cannot be enhanced without increasing the area under cotton cultivation and enhancing the cotton yield,” he said.

He highlighted that the country’s textile sector was functioning at its full capacity and all major textile exporting nations, including Pakistan, were brimming with orders because stores were mostly empty due to the disruption to the supply chain of textile.

“We have to devise a proper mechanism to continue this trend in the long run,” he said. “Pakistan is an agrarian country and its textile sector is considered the backbone of the national economy because it contributes 8.5% to the GDP and employs 40% of the total labour force.”

The textile sector “is also producing artificial silk, which resembles its natural counterpart but costs less to produce”, he said, adding that around 90,000 looms were working on this product throughout the country.

“The quality of fabric produced by Pakistan is better than many other countries,” he emphasised.

PBF Vice President Ahmad Jawad was of the view that brand building in the textile sector was direly needed because it could soften the international image of the country.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, he added that the lack of brand building was limiting revenues of the country and pointed out that Pakistan could generate an additional $2 billion in exports solely by focusing on branding.

“We have the capability but are lagging behind in effective marketing,” he said. “European companies earn millions of dollars by branding merchandise that is mostly manufactured in South Asian countries.”

Topline Research analyst Saad Ziker said that strong brands could boost attractiveness of Pakistani products in the international market.

“Pakistan’s textile sector needs branding as it can promote Pakistani flavour in the international market and help secure maximum orders, which can augment the export value of readymade garments,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2021.

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