LAHORE: Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi has regretted that the textile sector has failed to perform up to its potential due to the wrong policies of both the government and the private sector, none of which act with true entrepreneur spirit.
Addressing the first Textile Summit, he said now the sector lacks energy and power, which the government could have provided through prudent management.
The textile millers in their pursuit to mint money failed to see the potential of value addition, he said.
“Pakistan today is major exporter of textile raw materials that are value added by our competing economies” he regretted. Afridi said that the summit has been arranged to chalk out a joint strategy for sustained growth in entire textile chain. He regretted that the textile stakeholders did not take the government initiative seriously which is evident from their thin presence and very late arrivals.
The textile minister said that Pakistan textile is the only sector that presently has the potential to take country out of economic troubles. However to achieve this government and the entrepreneurs would have to take the ownership of the sector. “The main thrust should be on value addition” he said assuring that he would ensure that the energy and power problems faced by the sector would be duly addressed. He however pointed out that all facilitations and concessions in textiles would be provided by the government to the value added sector.
The European Union representative said that GSP Plus status has benefited Pakistan as only textiles added additional $1 billion in value added textile exports to EU. He advised the entrepreneurs to ensure progress on the conventions agreed with EU by the Pakistan government. He said private sector should improve labor standards and social responsibility towards workers and environment. Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan stressed upon the textile industry to ensure quality standards. The ILO country Director appreciated the government’s efforts to ensure GSP Plus compliance and cooperation for buyer’s forum.
APTMA Chairman S M Tanveer apprised the participants about the challenges, opportunities and threats faced by the textile industry. He assured that the textile exports could be doubled in 5 years if the sector is provided level playing field enjoyed by its regional competitors in interest rates and energy cost. Group leader APTMA pointed out that competing economies of the region have upgraded technology rapidly in past 10 years while Pakistan lags even Bangladesh in new investments. He also compared the power cost, wages and interest rates in the region all of which are higher in Pakistan.
Later the Punjab governor gave an overview of the efforts that were made to get GSP Plus status for Pakistan.
Source: The NEWS