Pakistan textile industry has been advised to focus on value addition to compete in the international market as lack of value addition is one of the major reasons behind the decline in exports, said Commerce Secretary Younis Dagha recently while addressing an event hosted by Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

According to Dagha, cost of doing business is higher in Pakistan compared to neighbouring countries, but it is not the only hurdle in exports as they have not played their role in value addition… industrial production remains lower. Commerce Secretary said that Indian and Bangladeshi exporters invest in their industries, while in Pakistan foreign revenue earned from textile exports went back to stocks and real estate sector. Investors should not divert textile money to real estate and other sectors.

Dagha further added that work on combined effluent treatment plant will soon start with the project cost to be borne half each by provincial and federal governments. Provincial government has already sanctioned the budget, while the issue is pending with the planning commission at the federal level, which will soon be resolved.

Zubair Motiwala, Ex-President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said yarn exports fetch $1.26 bn, but after value-addition this amount can go up to $7.5 bn a year. Pakistan Central Cotton Committee has been handed over to private sector, but there has been no improvement in cotton production since then.

Jawed Bilwani, Chairman of Pakistan Apparel Forum said that Pakistan’s textile exports are lower than India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, while costs of production as well as minimum wages are comparatively higher in the country. They receive export orders when other suppliers are not available in the international market. They get only spillover orders. Exports would increase when a level-playing field is provided to the industries. The country is facing a widening trade deficit of more than $32 bn and it would not prosper if exports are not increased.