LAHORE: More than 350 international brands from around 29 countries have displayed their products at more than 500 stalls at the Expo Centre as part of the three-day ‘International Textile Asia Exhibition’ organised by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA).
A large number of industrialists, businessmen, exporters and citizens attended the event on the first day.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan underlined the need for serious and well-planned efforts for increasing value-addition in textile sector to capture more share in the regional and international markets.
The minister said that although Pakistan textile export has decreased but it was the low-valued textile products like cotton, yarn and gray fabric. However, the value-added garment sector exports have registered significant growth, he added.
“Pakistan’s exports of readymade garments grew by 10.05% to $2.1 billion in 2014-15 from $1.9 billion, despite the internal and external challenges,” he added. He said it is unfortunate that Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producing country in the world but has failed in converting this local produce in to value-added products. It fetches only $1.17 billion per million bales whereas our competitors Bangladesh gets $6 billion and India gets $1.79 billion, the minister added. “I want every staple length of our cotton and yarn be transformed into cloth and garments for export. Value addition is needed in the entire chain of textile sector. It is a blessing in disguise that low value textile products export has decreased, giving us an opportunity to convert it in high value,” the minister said while talking to media. He appreciated the PRGMEA for conducting such a huge textile show and announcing full support to the apparel sector to continue its high performance. The minister said that PRGMEA has taken this initiative with the collaboration of Ecommerce gateway for bringing the textile machinery fair in Pakistan to increase productivity and for better competitiveness.
The PRGMEA mega fair has provided the local small textile industry an opportunity where more than 350 international brands from around 29 countries have displayed their products in more than 500 stalls, he added.
On this occasion, the PRGMEA Central Chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that the exhibition was aimed at focusing the immense buying and selling potential of textile and garment machinery, accessories, raw material supplies, chemicals and allied services under one roof.
He briefed the minister about the precarious position of Punjab’s textile units, saying the value-added textile industry was in a grip of severe crisis since more than a quarter of the total production capacity could not be utilised on account of energy crisis, lack of funds and high production cost.
PRGMEA Vice Chairman Malik Naseer observed that billions of rupees of textile exporters were blocked in sales tax and customs rebate and other schemes introduced in the textile policy for 2009-14. E-commerce Gateway President Dr Khurshid Nizam said the event was providing an effective podium for joint ventures and collaborations to the textile sector small and medium enterprises (SMEs), 80% of which are located in Punjab, having no financial capacity to attend the international exhibition. The mega fair is providing them an opportunity to enhance their production and export, he added.