Interview with Shehzad Salim

Shehzad Salim
Shehzad Salim

Pakistan needs to address its energy problems on a war footing if it wants its industry to prosper.
With Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Cindrella Thawani, Shehzad Salim shares significant facets of Pakistan’s RMG industry. Synopsis: Established in 1981, PRGMEA is representing the Readymade Garment (RMG) industry of Pakistan, which is one of the principal trade organisations of its country. Further, the organisation is recognized by the Government of Pakistan as well as affiliated with the Employers' Federation of Pakistan. Shehzad Salim caters as the Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA). Moreover, he started his career in 1998 with Citibank and then moved to Master Textile Mills Ltd. In the year 2007, he was elected as the Zonal Chairman of PRGMEA. Besides, he is graduate in Business and Economics from Knox College, U.S.A. Excerpts:

Recently, ready made garment exporters had started shifting to Bangladesh. How is this leaving its impact on Pakistan’s RMG industry? What are those steps that government should undertake and has also taken?

In my opinion this is just hype. Only one company has officially set up and subsidiary in Bangladesh in the last year. A few more may have set-up collaborations, etc. But none of the major players have moved. Bangladesh has its own problems such as shortage of gas, energy and labor unrest. I am now seeing a renewed interest from many foreign buyers who are looking to buy from Pakistan because of the difficulties they are facing in Bangladesh. Pakistan has a big advantage of raw materials availability and this leads to better lead times for deliveries and that is what all major buyers are looking for today. All we need from the government is a focused strategy to give priority to the textile sector which is the main driver of Pakistan’s economy. Gas and Energy supply needs to be prioritized for this sector and the law and order situation needs to be controlled. If this is done on a priority basis I am very confident that Pakistan’s textile industry has a bright future.

Pakistani rupee has been depreciating. How do you see its outcome on outsourcing?

Traditionally, the rupee depreciation was seen positively by the textile industry as it made our exports cheaper, but in the long run it is detrimental because cost of imports and local raw materials become dearer, as they linked to the international markets. Besides, I see no real advantage of rupee devaluation. It is inflationary in nature and causes too many uncertainties, drastically reducing local investment in plant and machinery. A stable rupee with low inflation is an ideal combination for our industry.
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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