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Pakistan textile industry struggles for survival

28
Apr '12
The textile industry in Pakistan, said to be one of the largest in the world, is struggling for survival engulfed in problems like energy shortage.

In the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, Pakistan exported Pk Rs. 1.3 trillion (US$ 13.8 billion) worth of textiles and apparels, mainly to the US and the EU. These exports accounted for about 63 percent of Pakistan's total exports, according to the official data.

Pakistan was served with a golden opportunity to further strengthen its position in global textile and garment trade in the form of decline in Chinese market share, owing to rising wages and appreciation of the Yuan.

But the South Asian country failed to capitalize on the opportunity, according to the latest annual economic report released by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The report adds that countries like Cambodia and Bangladesh took great strides in boosting their apparel exports while textile mills in Pakistan were coping with long hours of load shedding and gas outages.

The city of Faisalabad, which accounts for almost 50 percent of all textile exports from Pakistan, faced power outages as long as 20 hours at a stretch and gas supply stopped for six days in a week.

As a result, nearly 50 percent of the city's 250,000 powerlooms, which run on natural gas, have stopped operating during the last one year.

Similarly, 10 percent of the spinning mills and fabric printing units have also closed during the period. Industry insiders estimate that half of the remaining textile industries in Faisalabad are on the verge of collapse.

This has caused around 200,000 workers to lose their jobs in Faisalabad textile sector, which once employed around 20 percent of Pakistan's total workforce.

What's more! There was a time when workers used to come to Faisalabad from all across the Punjab province in search of employment opportunities. This trend has now reversed and people who were once employed in the textile mills are now leaving the city.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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