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Pakistan’s New Textile Policy to Boost Global Exports

Pakistan’s new textile policy, designed in part to raise textile exports to the U.S. to $26 billion over the next five fiscal years, will be finalized by June 30th, the country’s Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi announced. The policy covers the next five years from 2014 to 2019.

Minster Afridi told the media that the soon-to-be-implemented policy would also benefit the country’s domestic textile industry and apparel sector by providing tax incentives to import current and innovative technologies, including shuttle looms.

New technologies for apparel and textile manufacturing could increase Pakistani factory capacity, productivity and efficiency, hopefully adding up to enhanced profitability when the anticipated exports increase.

While establishing a variety of new initiatives and cutting red tape impeding exports, the new policy will also focus on value addition products. Although the country’s textile industry is its biggest exporter, the sector was neglected under previous governments, resulting in stifled industrial growth and immense losses of potential export revenue. The new policy is expected to address these economic problems.

Also to be accomplished under the plan is a program to train 120,000 people for garment manufacturing jobs over the next five years, and to improve cotton seed quality for better yields. The plan proposes a 5 percent reduction in interest rates on loans to the industry, which has yet to be approved by the Finance Ministry.

Despite a national energy crisis which reduced textile manufacturing, Pakistani apparel and textile exports for the first three quarters of 2013-2014 beginning last July 1, rose by 7.99% year-on-year to $10.38 billion.

The US, UK, China, Germany and Bangladesh are among the top importers of Pakistani products.

Pakistan’s 2012-2013 textile and garment exports, for the year ended last June 30, rose to $13.06 billion from $12.34 billion in 2011-2012, a 5.9% increase.

After receiving the EU’s Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP) Plus status, Pakistani textile exports for the March-April period rose 8.03%.