Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) released a statement on Saturday that greater duty free access to Pakistani exports to the US and European markets is imperative to cope with the current economic recession and the government of Pakistan should take immediate administrative and diplomatic initiatives to achieve this objective.”
Talking to the media, PTEA Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef said that exporters are facing difficulties in getting international orders due to energy shortages and a reduction in demand. Between July 2011 and April 2012, textile exports fell 9.6% compared to a year ago, according to official statistics.
He emphasised that it was vital for the survival of the textile industry to obtain duty free market access to the US and the European federation. Being on America’s front-line in the war on terror, duty free market access was given to Pakistani textiles for three years and during that period export volumes boomed.
“Pakistan is passing through critical economic conditions, which is further giving rise to industrial uncertainty, poverty and frustration. As a consequence of energy crisis, the textile production capacity of various sub-sectors has shrunk by 50%.”
“Load-shedding is causing significant production losses and adversely affecting the capability of the industry. In Punjab, energy supply disruption was resulting in an estimated loss of Rs1 billion per day, he said. The cost of production has also risen due to constant inflation in electricity and gas tariff. Such levies have decreased competitiveness of textile industry internationally”, he added. “In the larger interest of the economy and exports, the government should speed up its efforts to get duty free access to European Union and the US,” he stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2012.