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APTMA wants Govt to expedite negotiations on market access

10
Aug '09
In order to ward off the ongoing decreasing trend in textile sector of the country, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) demanded from the government, to accelerate the negotiation process on market access to the US and the EU.

Country's tattered image due to terrorism and wars is taking its toll largely on textile industry, said the APTMA spokesman. Near about all buyers and export houses have moved out of Pakistan.

Even visas are being refused to Pakistani exporters causing 30 percent turn down in export earnings in quantity terms. Till year 2006-07 the textile exports of the country witnessed a growth of 10 percent every year, noted the spokesman.

The closures of many textile mills have resulted in lay-off of many employees in the textile industry, directly or indirectly and this from an industry that employs 38 percent of the country's total labour force, i.e. about 3.5 million workers.

According to conservative estimates, about 100,000 workers have been the direct sufferers of these lay-offs, while around 400,000 are the indirect sufferers, as they constitute the family members of the workers who have been laid-off.

The complete value-chain of the textile industry depends on strong market access since it is a highly export-reliant industry. But the country's tattered image and visa restrictions have acted like hurdles affecting the textile sector across the whole value-chain, he added.

The spokesman further said that the immediate market access is the only measure which could compensate the sector. A good market access would help the sector regain its share in exports as well as would support its backward and forward linkages, specifically the cotton economy.

The spokesman emphasized that as the new cotton crop season is approaching, it is the perfect time for Pakistan, US and the EU policymakers to accelerate the plans for market access for the Pakistan textile industry.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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