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Boost South Asian intra-regional textile trade: Expert
Apr '13
Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig
Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig
Highlighting the need for boosting intra-regional trade, especially textile trade, which has higher potential in the region, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Former Adviser to Pakistan PM on Textile, said regional trade has been identified as the world’s most successful trade model.
The comments came during the South Asia Strategic Leadership Summit 2013 held to identify ways to strengthen financial, social and political ties between the countries in the South Asian region.
Dr. Baig, who is also the Chairman of Baig Group, said NAFTA members carry out over 60 percent of their trade with regional partners, while for EU this it is 53 percent and 26 percent for ASEAN. However, the share of intra-regional trade among SAARC nations is just five percent, he added.
Speaking to attendees at the summit, most of them representing leading corporate houses of South Asia, Dr. Baig advised that they should stop looking at each other as competitors, rather should come together for resource mobilization and share their marketing network.
Elaborating this, he said China, which was once the biggest competitor of Pakistan in cotton yarn, today stands as the largest importer of Pakistani cotton yarn. Also, it procures grey fabric and denim from Pakistan for garment manufacturing, Dr. Baig added.
With annual production cost and wages rising at a rate of 20 percent in China, the country is likely to lose its competitive edge in garment exports over the next three to four years. This would open a market with an annual turnover of over US$ 200 billion to countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and also to Japan and Korea, which have ultimately shifted from textile to high-tech industries.
To grab a chunk of the Chinese market, Dr. Baig advised the regional textile entrepreneurs to perk up their economy of scale and productivity on the side of value added textile and to boost regional textile trade.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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