In a move that diverts from Inditex Group’s generally close-to-Spain supply chain, the parent company of Zara has opened a buying house in Pakistan.
The hope, according to reports, is that Inditex will double its imports from the country.
Set up in Karachi, the maiden Pakistan-based buying house is expected to facilitate robust growth in trade between Pakistan and Spain in the coming year or two, further fueled by additional technical collaborations in textiles and design, according to reports from Pakistan’s The News.
The move is in keeping with Inditex’s global growth plans. The company opened stores in 52 markets in the first nine months of last year, and it launched its zara.com platform in India in October, a market it would be easier able to serve with goods coming from Pakistan.
Reports put Pakistan’s exports to Spain at $405 million for the five-months from July to November 2017, and estimates for December so far indicate that they’ll reach the $550 million mark.
With Inditex on board in a bigger way, a statement from the Pakistan government said, “…for the first time in Pakistan and Spain bilateral trade history, our exports to Spain will cross $1 billion mark during the current fiscal year of Pakistan,” according to The News. The country’s fiscal year begins on July 1 each year, so its current fiscal year will end this July 30.
The new buying house is a welcomed addition for Pakistan, which has seen its apparel sector suffer in recent years as production costs that are increasing faster than its competitors’ have sent brands and retailers into the arms of other nations, like Bangladesh.
Inditex joins the ranks of other big brands, like Walmart, Target, J.C. Penney and Ikea, which already have buying houses for sourcing apparel in Pakistan.