The decision of the Pakistani government to loosen the node on coronavirus pandemic restrictions early on has helped the country’s exports, which performed better than its regional counterparts.
According to a report published in Bloomberg, Pakistan’s outbound shipments have grown at a faster rate than fellow South Asian countries including Bangladesh and India as textiles, which account for half of the total export, led the recovery.
“Pakistan has seen orders shifting from multiple nations including China, India, and Bangladesh,” said Shahid Sattar, secretary-general at the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association. “Garment manufacturers are operating near maximum capacity and many can’t take any orders for the next six months.”
The economic volatility amid the coronavirus pandemic has proved a boon for the country’s textile sector as a number of the world’s renowned apparel brands are shifting their orders to Pakistan.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Trade and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, said that more and more brands are shifting to Pakistan. “We just heard that Hanes, Guess, Hugo Boss & Target have shifted orders from China to Pakistan. This is a good trend and I am very hopeful that this will continue. I hope that the exporters will capitalize on this opportunity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the country saw total shipments grow 7 percent in September, compared with New Delhi’s 6pc and Dhaka’s 3.5pc.
According to the report, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration was the first in the region to ease pandemic restrictions, allowing export units to reopen in April, a month after locking them down to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Furthermore, the escalating tensions between global heavyweights US and China also aided Pakistan in grabbing some orders from companies looking to diversify their supply chains amid the trade war.
“This war between two giants has given us new opportunities in polyester-cotton products,” said Khalid Mehmood, head of garment and home textile operations at Nishat Mills Ltd. “So there is a six-month slot for Pakistan now to capture maximum number of customer that were China based,” he added.