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Pakistan to act against WTO's denial of EU tariff deal
04
Jul '11
Speaking at the pre-launch ceremony of Pakistan Textile City Ltd (PTCL), Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin said that he would shortly get in touch with the Ministries of Commerce and Foreign Affairs to formulate a joint action plan to challenge the World Trade Organization's denial of the European Union's (EU) tariff deal.

The Minister said that Pakistan would not allow zero-duty access for textiles to the EU to end. He added that global situations do not remain unchanged and hence WTO's denial for EU tariff deal can also be reversed in favour of Pakistan.

“Our Ministries would jointly work out a plan to oppose the WTO decision and would also take up the matter with the EU,” he said. He further said that duty-free access is of much importance to Pakistan's textile industry and hence key persons would visit several countries to earn trade benefits for Pakistan's goods.

Textiles is the country's leading export earning and employment generating sector and deserves special attention, Mr. Shahabuddin said and added that the Government would do all it can for protecting the sector.

He said that the Government would deliberate on providing land to interested entrepreneurs on 25 percent down payment, with the rest of the sum payable over a period of two years.

Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Federal advisor for Textiles, stated that the textiles industry contributes to 56 percent of the country's overall exports and represents 8.5 percent of the total GDP, and 40 percent of the jobs in the production sectors.

Textiles industry has actually posted good results this year with exports likely to surpass the US$ 12 billion mark by close of the year, showing a 30 percent rise over the previous year, he said.

Pakistan, which is the world's fourth biggest cotton producer, is also the second biggest exporter of yarn and the third biggest exporter of fabric, globally.

Zahid Zaheer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PTCL project informed that the sale of plots at the project site would commence in mid-July and the task of developing the necessary infrastructure is to be completed within next couple of years.

The project is coming up in the eastern industrial zone of Port Qasim spanning an area of 1250 acres, and is just six km away from the National Highway. The site will have high-tech infrastructure facilities including single-window operation, provision for industrial and potable water, captive power generation (250 MW), natural gas for production process and joint effluent treatment plant to match the social compliance norms set by the international buyers.

The master plan for the project includes setting up of individual zones for weaving, towel, bed linen, denim, apparel, hosiery, dyeing and knitwear, specifically designed to efficiently boost production, optimize growth potential and to minimize cost.

PTCL is committed to construct the first ever textile processing industrial zone which complies with ISO 14001 and WTO standards, the CEO said.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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