By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
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
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)
PAGE: Which of the sub-sectors needs priority
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.