FAISALABAD: After five years of uncertainty, Faisalabad’s top industrialists are poised to make new investments — both for the purpose of expansion and to reap the benefits of the pro-industry policies of the new government.
For them it was the first winter season after years when their factories ran on optimal capacity due to uninterrupted supply of gas for most of the season, which was ensured by the federal government.
Businessmen in the country’s third largest city hope to cash opportunities through the 10-year duty free access to European markets and the possibility of trade normalisation with India, giving textile exporters one billion new customers.
Textile exports, which stood at $13.1 billion in fiscal year 2012-13, would cross $14 billion at the end of the current fiscal year 2013-14, according to textile experts.
Millions of rupees are being invested, which will fetch foreign exchange and also create thousands of new jobs.
Tanveer Yousaf, Yousaf Weaving Mills Faisalabad chief executive officer, who has recently invested to build a new factory, told The Express Tribune that Pakistan has great potential. He added that the country needed production at its fullest to meet international orders.
He added that the current government seemed to have pro-business policies, pointing out that in the first nine months of its tenure, gas kept flowing to the industries which boosted confidence.
During the last five years, thousands of employees were laid off by millers that also contributed to increasing crime rate in the city.
In the past five years, new investments were made in allied industries like printing, dyeing, weaving and processing due to the slowdown of the textile industry, said textile exporters. The industrialists are now satisfied with the friendly behaviour of the current government, they added.
Mian Sahid, another industrialist, said that he had to shut down his units in the winter season due to prolonged gas cuts. However, the decision to restore gas supply to the industry this winter season has revived the industry’s confidence.
After the Chinese decided to move out of the weaving sector, international buyers turned to Pakistan. This is the time to capture the huge potential of international buyers by exporting gray fabric.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2014.
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