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Pakistan Govt unveils first ever five year textile policy

13
Aug '09
Mr Rana Farooq Saeed Khan
The Federal Textile Minister, Mr Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, announced the first ever five-year Textile Policy 2009-14 that aims at taking the country's textile exports from the existing US $10 billion to $25 billion by the year 2015.

This policy has been framed in extensive consultations with all the stakeholders, including industrialists, exporters, investors, State Bank of Pakistan and Ministries of Finance, Industries, Commerce, Agriculture, Planning and Investment.

Since, inception, textiles have been the mainstay of the Pakistan economy and exports. This sector provides livelihood to more than 10 million farming families. It also accounts for 40% of the industrial employment.

Despite the recent downturn in the global demand, textiles and garments exports accounted for more than 50 per cent of exports during the last fiscal year (2008-09) and the country is the fourth largest producer and third largest user of cotton.

Yet, Pakistan is twelfth in terms of international trade, which means much of its advantage is lost in low value added semi-manufactured exports. A variety of reasons explain the poor state of the textiles sector.

Machinery and technology has not kept pace with world standards, infrastructure has been lacking, especially power, gas and clean water, available skills are deficient and high degree of fragmentation mars efficiencies.

Uneven growth of value-chain undermines balanced development of the sector, external restrictions such as quota and restricted access provided limited opportunities and absence of a well defined policy framework created uncertainties and promoted haphazard development of the sector.

The textiles policy, while addressing the above failings, has been prepared with the over-riding objective to realize the true potential of this sector. Presently, the Pakistan textile sector is converting one bale of cotton into $1000, whereas its competitors are converting it to up to $4,000.

In the five years from 2009-14, the first textiles policy targets that this rate of conversion should be doubled from $1000 to $2000. This will require increasing the level of exports to $25 billion by the end of the policy period.

The Textiles Policy represents a new beginning for the textiles sector. Through this policy, the government has not only set out a road map for the development of this sector but has provided the necessary support without which rapid progress of this sector is not possible.

Click here to read the salient features of the first textile policy.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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