Interview with Shehzad Salim

Shehzad Salim
Shehzad Salim

Where do you see globally elevating market for Pakistan’s readymade garments?

In phase one this would have to be in our traditional markets such as E.U and US. We are trying to gain more market access into the E.U. if this comes through, we will see a fast elevation in market share. Meanwhile, we are trying to negotiate better terms with U.S. Moreover, in phase two, I see elevations of market share with our regional trading partners namely China and India. Trade negotiations are underway with both the countries and I am confident that with a short period of time we will see export growth with both of these countries. Phase three would entail new market development in regions like Latin/ Central America, Australia, Japan and Africa.

How do you see future of RMG industry in Pakistan? What are those challenges this industry is facing, presently?

I am very hopeful that Pakistan’s RMG industry will get its due global recognition because we have most modern machinery, skilled labor force and ample raw material availability. These are the three main ingredients, which make any industry viable and we are blessed with all three. Currently, the industry may be facing energy challenges, security concerns and a weak demand but the situation is fast improving and I am positive that within three to five years we will be able to make great strides in exports of readymade garments.

Unprecedented energy crisis seems to be a crucial element for Pakistan’s RMG industry as well as international retailers. How do you see the current scenario? Please interpret.

Energy crisis is not only a problem for Pakistan, but it is in fact a global phenomenon in all the developing nations. We have been suffering from an ‘energy crisis’ for the past four years or so, but this has not made any significant impact on our exports because the industry and the entrepreneurs have adapted to this threat. Large scale manufacturers have now installed their own electricity generating plants and are rapidly moving to alternate energy sources. The SME’s are investing in energy efficiency programs, conservation programs and better practices. The government has also initiated several mega projects to counter the lack of energy, which are now coming online. It will no doubt take some time to completely overcome such a large problem, but both the private sector and government can overcome this issue by setting up coordinated energy production and distribution projects

‘Being sustainable’ how do you see this term goes well with the Pakistan’s textile industry?

Pakistan’s textile and RMG industry is very pragmatic and adaptable. It is quick to adopt new measures in order to keep itself sustainable. The industry has realized that it has to keep its wastages, energy and utility requirements low in order to be competitive globally and at the same time invest in skill development and adopt better practices. Through various government, semi government and private sector initiatives this has already began. PRGMEA have recently initiated an energy saving and greener production program and the response has been overwhelming. Similarly, other programs like re-use of water and reduction of pollutants into waterways, are also being implemented successfully.
Published on: 25/09/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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