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Dec 04 - 10, 2000

Mohsin Aziz is currently Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). He is also a Director on the Board of Habib Bank Limited. He is chief executive of two textile mills A. J. Textile Mills and A. J. Spinning Mills having a combined spinning capacity of 51,000 spindles. Mohsin is managing Director of Premier Formica Industries, a Director of Mohsin Enterprise(mach factory) and Proprietor of Aziz Ice Factory and Cold Storage. He has been President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Member of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Pakistan Match Manufacturers Association, Director of PESCO and Member of Institutional Management Committee of Khyber medical College.

PAGE: What has been the contribution of textile industry in the economic growth of Pakistan?

Mohsin: The contribution of textile industry in Pakistan's economy cannot be undermined. It contributes more than 60 per cent to the total exports of the country, constitutes 46 per cent of the manufacturing sector and provides employment to 38 per cent of the industrial workforce. Although, the growth in the industry has been impressive, but has not been able to keep pace with the global change. With the shift in textile production from developed to developing countries, new competitors have emerged and Pakistan has been loosing its competitive advantage. Therefore, there is a need to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the industry. I have very strong faith, looking at the textile industry infrastructure, Pakistan has enormous potential to retrieve its lost competitive advantage.

PAGE: Why Pakistan's share in global trade of textiles and clothing is still very low?

Mohsin: Pakistan is globally perceived to be a producer and exporter of low quality products. Even if any manufacturer strives hard and produce 'A' quality product, according to international standards, it is very difficult to negotiate a corresponding price. A negative country image had been a big challenge but some companies invested heavily in plant and machinery, made efforts to establish their credibility. The names of such companies can be counted on fingers of two hands. I would say that there is no short cut to success and if others also follow their foot prints we could double Pakistan's textile exports in next five years.

PAGE: What should be the strategy to restore competitive advantage of the Industry?

Mohsin: The blue print of such a strategy has been prepared in Textile Vision 2005. It suggests an open, market driven, innovative and dynamic textile sector which is fully articulated and can compete in the global markets. The aim is to get ready to exploit the opportunities when multi fibre agreement (MFA) phases.

PAGE: Which of the sub-sectors needs priority attention?

Mohsin: In my opinion, first Pakistan should try to control cost of inputs, i.e. raw cotton and PSF. Then the efforts should be to improve productivity and production alongwith product diversification in the spinning sector. Unless the quality of indigenous yarn is improved, Pakistan cannot achieve higher unit price realization in both woven and knitted fabrics. A closer look at the mix of fabrics exported shows that Pakistan exports the largest percentage of fabrics in grey form. Therefore, there is need to add processing facilities. However, one should not forget, at any stage, that spinning is the backbone of textile industry.

PAGE: What measures have been suggested in Textile Vision 2005?

Mohsin: It broadly covers the theme stated above and has also suggested the largest investment in the spinning sector. However, both the sponsors and lenders have to be very choosy. While the spinners should not commit the same mistake of going for production of coarse counts, lenders should also concentrate on cashflow and economic viability of the proposed projects. The objective is to avoid addition of non-performing loans. The efforts should be to optimize return on each rupee invested.

PAGE: What should be the suggested strategy for the sponsors?

Mohsin: In the past we had made the mistake of first producing a product and then making efforts to find market for the produce. The new strategy should be to produce the products which are demanded by the buyers. The other suggestion is to improve our marketing strategy. The buyers need quality products and price has become less important. Exporters should work to get repeated orders rather than making one time sale.

PAGE: What should be the strategy till the end of year 2004?

Mohsin: I strongly believe that Pakistan should not wait till the end of year 2004. We must be ready in next couple of years to solicit orders purely on the basis of quality and other terms of sales. Pakistani exporters should work to achieve higher value-addition as a first step to achieve the target. I believe buyers would like to select or short list, at least, the source of supply by the end of year 2002. Both the GoP and exporters should work on war footings or we may loose our market share.