The industry experts revealed that the Pakistan’s textiles sector has remained stagnant over the decade because of a number of exogenous and indigenous factors like subsidies given to cotton farmers and other textiles products through various states which distort prices, marketing constraints, worldwide recession and increasingly stringent buyers’ conditionalities. Presently it is also recorded that the Pakistan textile industry shares, in excess, almost 60 percent to the nation’s aggregates fares. The Pakistan textile industry is currently seeing a decline in its development rate. The textile industry shares almost 46 percent of the total outcome. It’s offering 38 percent of workforce in the country.
International textiles and clothing trade has risen substantially in the post quota regime. However, the Government of Pakistan’s share in the worldwide textiles and clothing trade has stayed below 3 percent because of changes in the distribution chain and also the creation of an uneven playing field by the importing states by preferential trade agreements and special access given to dissimilar competitor states.
The statistics also revealed that Pakistan is also the 8th largest exporter of textile material in all of Asia. Unluckily the textile industry has also suffered for lack of proper infrastructure facilities which are so desperately required for its smooth operations. Apart from absence of exclusive areas dedicated to textiles production, power/energy has emerged as a main hurdle particularly in the Punjab where almost 65 percent of the industrial units are placed. It is also said that the skilled manpower is also considerably deficient with the consequence that the industry is suffering from low per capita productivity. The physical and institutional infrastructure, particularly at sea and dry ports, requires revamping and reform. Likewise, various parallel and overlapping regulations add to management and production costs. The industry experts also mentioned that the concept of developing clusters to promote cost efficiencies particularly in the SME sector has been developed and emphasized in the Planning Commission’s Vision 2025, which has also been made part of the textiles policy 2014-19.
The Textiles Policy 2014-19 is based on actionable plans to make textiles sector more competitive, robust, goal oriented and sustainable. The Ministry officials also would make concerted attempts for ensuring that the Policy produces conducive environment for SMEs to raise production of value added items through development of clusters. It is also recorded that the Policy envisages vital measure to support textile sector i.e. enabling policy environment, sectoral strategic plan, marketing measures, revitalizing projects and capacity building of the Ministry and stakeholders, with a view to enhance productivity and improving competitiveness of the entire textile value chain.
Statistics show that the textiles industry comprises of 11.3 million spindles, 03 million rotors, 350,000 power looms, 18,000 knitting machines and processing capacity of 5.2 billion sq m in Pakistan. Furthermore, it has the 700,000 industrial and local stitching machines. It has a strong fibre base of 13 million bales of cotton and 600,000 tons of manmade fibres counting polyester fibre. Also there are 21 filament yarn units having capacity of 100,000 tons. The filament and yarn industry is supported by PTA plant which has 500,000 tons capacity. Thus a complete textiles value chain exists in Pakistan which is rare globally, unlike various competitors which have only chief base or the finished base.
On the local side, statistics also showed that the cotton production has remained stagnant at about 13 million bales per annum, and the resistance to grading and standardization of cotton bales through ginners and spinners alike has consistently lowered the value of country’s cotton by almost 10 cents per pound in the global market.
Textiles Policy Goals 2014-19
- To double value-addition from $1billion per million bales to $2 billion per million bales and also the double textiles exports from $13 billion per annum to $26 billion per annum in upcoming 5-year.
- To facilitate more investment of $5 billion in machinery and technology and also enhance fibres mix in favor of non-cotton i.e. 14 to 30 percent.
- To enhanced product mix particularly in the garment sector from 28 to 45 percent and strengthen existing textile companies/firms and organize new ones.
- SME sector will be major focus of attention to improve growth in value-added products by support and incentives schemes.
- Schemes and initiatives would be introduced for growing usage of ICT.
- The textiles sector will be made locally and globally compliant particularly with respect to labor and environment principles and conventions.
- Textiles units will be encouraged to use modern management practices for enhancing efficiency and reducing wastages.
- Clusters would be systematically developed and existing clusters would be strengthened.
- Vocational training of workers for capacity building, internships and different programs for enhancement of skills and higher per capita productivity would be launched.
- Facilitate the creation of 3 million career opportunities and promotion of specialty skills training for professionals and supervisory levels.
- Adopt initiatives to raise ease of doing business and reducing cost of doing business.
No doubt, Pakistan textile is accountable for economic growth and playing its part in national integration as well as GDP growth. There are some issues in textile industry such as rising expense of production, increase in raw material cost, peace situations, less R&D establishments, lack of new businesses, tight monetary policy and effect of expansion. The Government of Pakistan should explore new export markets on the basis of end goals. The textile industry should find new and innovative ways like launching new fabric in every season with best quality to gain customer loyalty.