Friday September 22, 2023

‘In terms of skills, Pakistan lags behind Sri Lanka and Bangladesh’s garment industries’

January 30, 2017

In terms of skill base in the garment industry Pakistan lags behind Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Firoz Rasul, the president of the Aga Khan University, said on Saturday.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the 17th convocation of the Textile Institute of Pakistan held at its main campus near Eastern Zone, Bin Qasim (Ghakkar Phatak).

Firoz said he admired TIP’s work, significance and its impact. He added that textile was one of the most important sectors of the country and considered the backbone of Pakistan’s economy.

“We are the eight largest exporters of textile products in Asia, fourth largest producer of cotton and third largest consumer of cotton in the world. We are also the world’s second largest cotton yearn exporters and third largest cotton cloth manufacturer and exporter.”

He appreciated that the sector provided employment to about 40 percent of the industrial labour force and accounted for eight percent of the total GDP.

However, Firoz noted that Pakistan lacked quality and innovation in engineering and technology development. He highlighted the energy crisis, shortage of gas supply and power cuts for the reducing number of textile mills in the country.

He observed that production capability was very low because of obsolete machinery and technology while in the long term, cotton as a crop would not be viable in Pakistan with its scarce water resources.


Degrees and medals

The institute awarded 38 degrees and six gold medals. Aminah Shahzad of the Textile Design Technology was given the Dr Eqbal Ahmad Award and a cash reward for scoring the highest CGPA among her graduating classmates of various faculties. She also delivered the valedictory speech on behalf of graduating students.

The Dr Eqbal Ahmad Award is given in memory of the TIP’s first chancellor, the late Dr Eqbal Ahmad.

TIP president Humayun Zafar informed the audience that the institute had produced 1,117 graduates during the last 22 years and it was producing leaders for the socioeconomic progress of Pakistan. “The TIP has 100 percent employment to its credit, which by no means itself is a great feat to celebrate,” he added.

“Now the TIP is moving forward in a sustained manner.”

He announced that from the Fall 2017, the TIP would introduce industrial manufacturing and management as another degree programme.

Two MoUs have been signed with fashion institutions in Switzerland and France last year while this year the TIP is planning to ink an MoU with two leading firms for betterment of its students.

The TIP president shed light on the ongoing development at both campuses and mentioned that 26 students and three faculty members went to Frankfurt to attend Heimtextil textile fair held annually in Germany.

“The research is now considered a primary responsibility of an academic institution, but in our country, the research culture is not yet fully developed.” He appealed to the textile industry to strengthen the TIP as they had done in the past.