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 5. TRADE  6. GULF



May 20 -June 02, 2002


About 200 textile mills have either been closed down in the US or are in the process of closure, creating a big market for textile products for countries like Pakistan, China and India.

Simultaneously, the US is emerging as a big source of supply of the re-conditioned textile machinery and equipment, and local business sources confirm of a few consignments of such parts and machinery has trickled down in Pakistan during the last few weeks.

Three top Punjab based textile groups are vying each other to enter into joint collaboration with a giant US bedwear group, and at least one of them is reported to have set up a modern textile processing plant in Lahore for this purpose.

The market reports suggest that a few Karachi based garment groups are exploring some sort of production and marketing arrangements with known American groups and departmental stores.

The US market for textiles that include clothing and other products is estimated at around $65 to $70 billion a year. The US is also exporting textiles worth about $20 to $22 billion a year.

The market analysts estimate about $100 billion export opportunity for countries like Pakistan, India and China in the US and the countries that buy US textile products once Americans quit textile business in next few years.

"For a variety of reasons, the US is now getting out of textiles," Textile Commissioner Idrees Ahmad told. He said that textiles was a pretty capital intensive business activity that required constant periodical investment. "Perhaps Americans find the return on these investments too meagre and unattractive," he said.

The other reason for getting out of textiles is environmental and the US authorities want textile units to be shifted to nearby South and Central American countries where they believe human beings of lesser grade species live.


The Pakistan Railways, under the rehabilitation program of its dilapidated track would replace the entire 1,760km track between Peshawar and Karachi in the next three years at a cost of Rs11.1 billion, whereas the doubling of the said track process was also under study.

Pakistan under a contract is purchasing 52,000 tons of track from China as 13,500 tons have already been imported from Austria and arrangements for the purchase of remaining 12,000 tons to complete the first phase of track replacing project would be done with Rs700 million Islamic Development Bank loan.

After the completion of rehabilitation track, the PR rail speed would go up to 140kmph, 50km more than the present 90km an hour speed. Work on doubling the 125km-long track between Khanewal and Lodhran has already been taken in hand.


Textile millers expect that the volume of investment in different sectors of the industry, particularly in the value-added sector, will exceed $500 million by the year-end.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma-Punjab) chairman Anjum Salim told that the "banks had disbursed a sum of Rs29 billion during 2001 to the industry".

The entire exposure in the textile industry at the end of 2001 stood at Rs150.754 billion. The traditional sectors (spinning and weaving) has claimed an overwhelmingly share of Rs125.212 billion from the total exposure. However, the priority value-added areas (apparel, knitting and finishing) are "far behind the traditional areas with a total exposure of Rs25.542 billion."


Tarbela Dam is losing 100,000 cusecs storage capacity every year and with that pace there will be no water available for wheat maturity and cotton sowing after five years.

These fears were expressed by experts while talking on Monday. According to them, 100,000 cusecs water forms the irrigation supply of 10 days which means that every year Tarbela will hit the dead level 10 days earlier. The calculation has already proved correct as the dam had exhausted on March 26 in 2000, on March 15 last year, and on March 6 this year.


Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz said on Monday that Pakistan has been experiencing declining growth rate for the last several years due to which poverty has been increasing in the country.

This was stated by Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz in a statement at the inaugural session of one-day conference on current issues in micro finance, read out on his behalf by Advisor for Economic Affairs Dr Ashfaque Hassan Khan on Monday.


The Large Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) registered 3.18 per cent growth in its production during July-March period of the current financial year in comparison to the same period of last year.

Official figures available showed that during the first nine months of 2000-01, the LSMI production increased by 7.61 per cent over the corresponding period of 1999-2000. And the LSMI registered a growth of 0.45 per cent in its production in the year 1999-2000 during the same period in comparison to the financial year of 1998-99.

On monthly basis, the LSMI production increased by 6.35 per cent during March 2002 compared to the same month of the last year, while it soared by 22.44 per cent during the same month of 2001 over the corresponding month of 2000.


Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) increased by 0.10 per cent during the week ending May 16 with the rise in prices of 16 essential items as compared to the preceding week, according to the data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics on Saturday.