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Textile exporters assured of implementing policy, LCCI
17
Dec '09
The Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Textiles Gul Mohammad Lot has said that the government would ensure implementation of the Textile Policy in letter and spirit as the textiles is the biggest export-earning sector. He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. LCCI Vice President Faisal Iqbal Sheikh, former Chairman APTMA Punjab Akber Sheikh and Mohammad Ayub Skeikh also spoke on the occasion.

The Chairman said that the steps were being taken to help strengthen textile sector, boost exports and create new jobs besides shoring up textile sector and fetching the much-needed foreign exchange. He said such measures would help capital-starved exporters to increase their exports, and help revert the declining trend in exports.

He said that the government was taking all measures to remove regulatory bottlenecks in market access and improving information and communications technology. Gul Mohammad Lot said that the present government was also concentrating on bringing down the rate of markup and inflation to the single digit for the expeditious revival of the industrial sector.

He, however, expressed his concern over the shortage of skilled labour and sought the private sector's help to overcome the shortage. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Vice President Faisal Iqbal Sheikh said that for the past several years Pakistan had been multiple internal and external challenges and the only way to get out of this critical state of affairs is to regain the economic stability which can be achieved through the revival of the industrial sector, especially the export-oriented textile sector.

The textile industry contributes 8.5% of the GDP and employs 38% of the workforce in the manufacturing sector. It is responsible for about 55% of total exports. Export of textile products has reached $ 10.62 billion in the year 2007-08 from $ 5.5 billion in the year 2003-04 i.e. an increase of $ 5.12 billion in value term or by 93% and it still have the potential to beat this rate of growth in future. The way international trade is evolving is neither free nor fair. There is continued downward pressure of unit prices of textile goods, while the raw material prices and cost of doing business are increasing drastically. Even though, Textile Industry of Pakistan is indeed passing through a very crucial juncture due to the prevailing socio-economic and political climate.

The Textile sector is exposed to extreme competition after the phasing out of quota besides facing resistance from developed countries. To increase competitiveness and quality of products, textile industry requires investment in technology for meeting the new challenges.

He said that over the last few years the textile sector had invested about $ 6.0 billion in modernization and higher value addition, but due to continuous rise in cost of doing business resulting from enhancement in the cotton prices, utilities, inflation and bank refinancing rate on exports, Pakistan is becoming uncompetitive and loosing share in the international market. He said that government needs to plan a strategy to identify and solve issues with a long-term perspective to meet the challenging tasks of the textile sector.

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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