ISLAMABAD: Reiterating his call for preferential treatment and greater market access for Pakistani products, President Asif Ali Zardari has said that it is time for the international community to think of ways to compensate countries impacted most adversely by the war on terror, including greater market access.
Addressing the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Annual Dinner held at the Presidency, the president said the ongoing war against militancy has inflicted huge damage to Pakistan’s economy. He said the huge economic cost of the war compelled the government to curtail its Public Sector Development Programme, which had put great pressure on the business community; increasing their input costs and adversely impacting their competitiveness.
“Pakistan’s position in the world of textiles is being adversely affected. We are being reduced from our position as principal suppliers to back up suppliers,” he remarked.
He said the textiles and clothing sector was a mainstay of Pakistan’s exports and a symbol of Pakistan’s manufacturing excellence. Highlighting the importance of the sector, the President said that cotton and low cost labour is the springboard for the industry.
He said that in order to aid the textile industry, a limit has been set on the exports of low-valued yarn. This, he said, has been done to improve availability of raw material in the domestic market for the value-added textiles sector.
The president said he was aware of the effect of energy shortages on the textiles sector, which had hampered production, employment and exports; and that issues would be resolved soon.
The president urged the business community to explore new markets for their products, besides planning for the long term, adopting new methodologies and focusing on infrastructure development to maintain their competitiveness.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012.