Sunday, January 2, 2011

APTMA fears closure of industries

LAHORE: The industry in Punjab would wipe out if due facilitation in supply of energy, cut in interest rates and a duty-free market access were not ensured at the earliest.
The chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Gohar Ejaz at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday said, “The industry has the ability to create two million jobs annually and ten million in next five years if the business community is taken on board in policymaking mechanism”.
Textile sector can generate 10 million new jobs in next five years and takes the textile exports to $ 40 billion provided Pakistan gets the same market access that is provided by the United States and European Union to 80 countries.
The sector does not have the market access as their competitors Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, NAFTA and many other countries totaling 80 in all.
He said value added apparel sector is subjected to 23 percent import duties in these markets compared with zero rated access to the 80 privileged economies.
He said energy and power shortages in the country were making the exports expensive and further eroding our market penetration.
Spinners produce excess cotton yarn than local demand worth $ 2 billion a year that has to be exported. He said the weaving sector of the country cannot use this yarn to produce fabric as the local demand is limited while exports are not possible due to lack of market access.
He said from the yarn that the weavers buy from spinners they produce grey fabric worth $ 2 billion that has to be exported because there is no demand for this fabric. “We cannot blame the value added sector for not buying the excess fabric produced in the country”, he said.
The textile exports of Bangladesh were $ 5 billion in 2005 compared with Pakistan’s textile exports of $ 10 billion. During last fiscal year the textile exports from Bangladesh increased to above $ 15 billion while Pakistan’s exports inched up to $ 10.6 billion only.
Pakistan and Turkey could benefit from this by entering in to strategic alliance with Pakistan supplying textile intermediary products to Turkey for onward exports to EU and its entrepreneurs establishing joint ventures in Pakistan for value added exports to China.
Pakistan currently exports $ 341.6 million worth of textile to Turkey out of which $ 237.7 million is cotton cloth and $ 33.6 million yarn. LCCI president Shahzad Ali Malik said it is the high time to come up with a joint strategy among LCCI, APTMA, PBIT to make an example of practical advantages of Public Private Partnership while getting the most from this window of golden opportunity. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey currently stands at $ 630.6 million can be manifold on the basis of Pakistan’s potential, we can take the bilateral trade between two countries to the tune of $ 1 billion. staff report

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