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Netherlands, ILO & IFC support Pakistan's textile industry
Dec '14
The Government of Pakistan has joined hands with the Government of the Netherlands, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to sustain international standards and practices in Pakistan’s textile and garment sector by organizing the first buyers’ meeting in Islamabad from December 15th to 16th, 2014.

The buyers’ meeting was an initiative supported by the Government of Pakistan and aligned with the common objective of improving productivity and compliance to all the requirements under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status. With the European Union (EU) approval of preferential access for Pakistani products to the EU market, under the GSP, there is great opportunity for Pakistan to further increase their exports to the EU and meet the quality, environmental, labour, and health & safety standards required.

The meeting was aimed to bring together buyers, brands, manufacturers, Government, workers and employers organizations, in order to create a platform for dialogue to improve their cooperation towards a sustainable growth of the sector, improving competitiveness and compliance with international standards.

The event brought together a number of buyers and brands including GAP, Wal-Mart, Target, H&M, Adidas, Levi Strauss, Inditex, Primark, Li & Fung, El Corte Ingles, PVH, Hema, and C&A, who expressed their commitment to sustainable practices, improving compliance and reporting on environmental, labour and health & safety standards and their implementation in the textile and garment sector in Pakistan.

Present at the forum, Mr Pir Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi, Federal Minister Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development said, “We recognize the significance of Pakistan’s garment and textile industry to the country’s economic growth. The step towards establishing a buyer’s forum will help in making significant progress towards ensuring decent working conditions in the sector”.

Netherlands ambassador, De Vink said, “The Netherlands is in discussion with ILO regarding financial support to a major project to improve labour conditions in Pakistan. Strengthening the capacity of the inspectorate, the role of employers and workers in the factories, and the role of global buyers is very important in this respect.”

Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of cotton with the third largest spinning capacity in Asia after China and India, and contributes 5 per cent to the global spinning capacity. The garment and textile industry continues to be the second largest employment generating sector for both skilled and unskilled labour in Pakistan. (GK)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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