TEXTILE MACHINERY IN PAKISTAN
Textile industry plays an important role in Pakistan's economy
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Apr 16 - 22, 2001
Pakistan, an attractive market for textile machinery manufacturers all over the world, has become a focal point of the suppliers in view of the massive Balancing-Modernization-Replacement (BMR) to take place under "Textile Vision 2005" programme jointly launched by the government and public sector of the country.
Under the BMR plan an investment worth Rs333 billion has to take place by the year 2005. In order to market their products, trade delegations of textile machinery producers from France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and India are frequently visiting Pakistan as a part of their marketing plans.
A textile delegation had visited Pakistan 10 days ago while another is due next week. Similarly French delegation visited Pakistan to explore the market and they are coming again to display their machinery in Faisalabad next week.
Italian Trade Commission recently established by the Italian embassy in Pakistan also arranged a symposium on "Italian Textile Machinery and Technology" in Karachi on April 10 and Lahore on April 12. The symposium was attended by a trade delegation of Italian Association of Textile manufacturers from their country. The representatives from All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) including its Chief Executive Khalid Amin, Textile Commissioner Mohammad Idrees and prominent textile industrialists attended the seminar among others from Pakistan industry.
Speaking on the occasion Khalid Amin said that textile industry plays an important role in Pakistan's economy. The textile industry not only has to continue this role but also has to accomplish higher targets by increasing the exports from $5 billion to $15 billion in the years to come.
In order to achieve this target, the BMR plan chalked out by the government has to be implemented seriously. Financing constraints is however one of the impediments in implementation of the BMR in textile industry in Pakistan. Although over $500 million were spend on BMR by the industry from its own resources. However the industry is unable to meet the entire funding from its own resources obviously because of financial constraints. The financial support is generally provided for BMR purposes all round the world and the textile machinery producers generally play a significant role by offering innovative financial schemes to support the industry as well as to promote the sale of their products. Khalid Amin suggested to the Italian delegation to extend such financial scheme to get a larger share in Pakistani market. It may be mentioned the banking sector is not in a position to extend such a large size of advances to the textile industry. The commercial banks are generally offer short term loans while those who were suppose to provide long term financing either are not in a good financial health.
The Italian Trade Commissioner while appreciating the growth rate of textile industry in Pakistan said that Italy was among top three-textile machinery producing countries and has already earned a respectable name in Pakistan textiles.
He said that the textile sector in Pakistan however is required to be upgraded to go for more value addition and consequently enhance value of its exports in terms of quality, quantity and value.
He was of the view that since a large portion of the textile exports from Pakistan goes into European market, it is vitally important for textile sector to equip this sector with European machines, products and designs popular in that choosy market.
He said that Pakistan is a major cotton producing country, yet it has to go a long way to enhance value of the available raw material through improvement of the ginning, spinning, weaving or other sort of finished products.
The Textile Commissioner Mohammad Idrees, who also spoke on the occasion said that Pakistan is getting ready to face the post 2004 scenario when there will be no textile quota.
In order to survive in the high competitive market steps are being taken to equip the industry with the most modern machinery to produce quality productions.
Aziz Memon, Chairman, Pakistan Italian Business Forum welcomed the first event organized by the Italian trade commission recently established in Karachi. He expressed the hope that the Italian textile machinery has earned a respectable place in the textile industry in Pakistan and will continue to grow with the size of the market.
Meanwhile the textile sources have expressed their serious dismay and concerns over what they called bureaucratic chains restricting growth of the textile industry in Pakistan.
Sources said that industry is passing through the acute financial crisis due to non-payment of billions of rupees held up under the head of sales tax refunds. Various smaller units with limited resources have gone to the brink of collapse and if immediate steps were not taken to redress the issue, most of the smaller units would go out of business. He said that despite tall claims and frequent promises made by the bureaucrats, the textile exporters as well as the manufacturers are denied their due right of refunds running in billions of rupees. He said that such uncalled for problems created by the bureaucrats are seriously contradicting the policies of the government for economic reforms and industrial growth.