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Overview of the cotton & textile industry

12
Jun '08
Growth has decelerated to 5.8 percent principally on account of the poor performance of agriculture owing to the dismal performances of major crops such as wheat and cotton (together they contribute over 20 percent and 4.2 percent to agriculture and GDP, respectively)

The cotton crop suffered for a variety of reasons, including heavy rainfall in May 2007 which caused poor germination in Punjab, high temperatures during August and September 2007, causing more shedding of fruit parts and pest attacks, especially the dangerous mealy bug infestation.

Consequently, cotton production declined to 11.7 million bales as against 12.9 million bales last year — registering a negative growth of 9.3 percent.

Manufacturing is the second largest sector of the economy, accounting for 19 percent of GDP. The relatively slower pace of expansion this year perhaps exhibits signs of moderation on account of higher capacity utilization, difficulties in textiles.

Pakistan's exports suffer from serious structural issues which need to be addressed primarily by the industry itself, with government playing its role of a facilitator. Textile is the backbone of Pakistan's exports but bears various tribulations.

These include: (i) low value added and poor quality products fetching low international prices; (ii) the machinery installed in recent years has depreciated considerably relative to Pakistan's competitors; (iii) these machines are power-intensive, less productive and carry high maintenance cost; (iv) augmented wastage of inputs adding to the cost of production; (v) little or no efforts on the part of industry to improve their workers' skills; (vi) industry spending less money on research and development; and (vii) export houses lacking capacity to meet bulk orders as well as meeting requirements of consumers in terms of fashion, design and delivery schedule.


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