Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi said that the first priority is to increase the export of value-added products, especially knitted and woven garments.
Speaking to representatives of the value-added textile associations on Thursday, Afridi said that the job of the ministry is to look after all segments of the textile industry.
“[However] I will make sure that the country increases its exports in the garment’s section,” he said. “The government will support those who increase value-addition in the textile sector. And since the garment sector does most of the value-addition; it will certainly get government support.”
Citing the traditional rivalry of spinners and makers of finished goods, the minister appealed to the participants to rise above their differences and look for ways that can lead to the increase of textile exports.
Having said what the participants wanted to hear from the minister, Afridi plainly told them that they should also increase the number of value-added items that are exported from the country.
Pakistan exports only 13 value-added textile items out of 950 that are traded worldwide despite having an edge over many of its competitors including Bangladesh, which is not a cotton-growing nation.
Representatives of the value-added textile associations said that All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) is using its muscle power and influencing government’s decisions in different issues.
“We’re not going to take pressure from any corner,” he stated, putting aside the impression that the textile ministry is under pressure from Aptma, the country’s leading textile lobby.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2014.
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