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Friday, May 24, 2024

Textile industry to materialize dream of $100 billion exports: Zardari

Former President Asif Ali Zardari said that his dream of $100 billion in exports would materialize with the help of the textile industry.
He was addressing the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) members during his visit to APTMA.

Patron-in-Chief APTMA Gohar Ejaz welcomed the former President of Pakistan along with Chairman APTMA Mr. Asif Inam, Chairman North, Mr. Hamid Zaman, Senior Vice Chairman Mr. Kamran Arshad and Secretary General Mr. Raza Baqir.

Zardari said the textile entrepreneurs should lead the ministries of textile and finance to take the country forward.

He said opening up trade with Iran would enable Pakistan to get cheap gas as well as LNG. He said the PPP government would ensure the completion of a gas pipeline from Iran besides supporting border trade.

“I will bring gas from Iran for the textile industry of Pakistan to reduce its input cost,” he said.

He further expressed that he had advocated for trade not aid in his talks with the European Union back in 2013. Bangladesh has got the advantage of GSP Plus because of its underdeveloped status. 90 percent of Indian textile products get a tag of Made in Bangladesh and are shipped to Europe for sale. Pakistani entrepreneurs should learn to sell their products in the international markets with the right combo. He would not hesitate to sign the Charter of Economy and provide a level playing field to the business community. He would invite the textile industry to invest in cotton crops in Jhal Magsi, a region in Sindh close to Balochistan. He said there is a need of ensuring a rift price to cotton farmers besides working on the quality of seed in the country.

Earlier In his address, Gohar Ejaz said, the potential of textile exports of not less than $25 billion based on current capacity.
He said the industry has set a target of $50 billion in the next five years besides possessing a commitment to set up 1000 garment units with 500,000 stitching machines out of a total investment of $7 billion to give a $20 billion per annum rise in exports and generate employment for 700,000 workers. He said these garments plants be established near major Textile producing cities i.e. Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Kasur, Multan, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Karachi, and Peshawar.

He said there is a decline in export and deindustrialization in Punjab due to the non-availability of the Regionally Competitive Energy Tariff (RCET).
He made it clear that the RCET is not a subsidy. Without RCET, he said, exporters in Pakistan cannot compete in the international markets, as Pakistan has the highest energy tariff in the region and the high price of energy plus intermittent/curtailed supply is a recipe for deindustrialization.

While speaking about the solution, he urged to maintain 9 cents/kWh for electricity and $9/MMBtu for gas for the export sector across Pakistan.

He has sought dedicated power plants for the industrial sector and wheeling of electricity under the CTBCM regime, which requires the full support of the Finance Division. He also sought restoration of SRO 1125, refund of all sales tax, Tuff and other dues, working capital lending facility besides a moratorium on debt, clearance of all imports of Export Oriented Sectors/Zero-Rated Industries whether against L/Cs or cash against the document, Permission to open L/Cs for raw material machinery, spare parts, and other items, extension of existing export discounting mechanism by SBP to include yarn and cloth and equitable treatment for all textile products in terms of export discounts.
Mr. Asif Inam, Mr. Aamir Fayyaz, Mr. Rehman Naseem, Mr. Shahid Abdullah, Mr. Omer Nazar Shah, and Mr. Ahmad Kamal also spoke on the occasion and demanded patronage to the textile industry to upsurge exports and provide additional jobs to unemployed youth. They also highlighted issues confronting the growth of the textile industry in Pakistan.

Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Federal Minister for Industries and Production, and Mr. Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue also present on the occasion. The APTMA leadership also presented President Zardari with a memento at the end of the meeting.

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