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November 22, 2020

Knitwear exporters expect 5pc share in global trade

Business

November 22, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan can increase share of knitwear exports in the global trade to 5 percent from the existing 1.2 percent if the government ensures smooth supply of raw materials and addresses other concerns of businesses, industry’s association said on Saturday.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) said Knitwear exports rose 12.3 percent to $1.2 billion during the first four months of the current fiscal year.

Global exports of knitwear stood at $237 billion in 2019 with share of Pakistan standing at 1.2 percent or $2.8 billion.

“We feel that this share needs to be increased to 4 to 5 percent with mutual planning of exporters and government,” PHMA said in a statement.

“If the government genuinely considers proposals of knitwear sector, addresses all their problems, and assures smooth availability of basic raw materials, knitwear garment sector can further enhance its export by approximately 30 to 50 percent annually.”

Cotton production fell from 6.85 million bales to 4.02 million bales, down 41.3 percent, according to a latest report.

“This shortfall will bring dreadful effects on textile exports specially knitwear (hosiery) sector, which is labour-intensive and provides approximately 40 percent of urban employment particularly to female workforce,” PHMA said. “Therefore, government should allow duty free import of cotton yarn much like duty free import of cotton.”

PHMA said temporary import / export facilitation schemes, such as duty and tax remission for exports need to be simplified to enable small and medium exporters to avail the benefits of these schemes to enhance productivity and capture more share of world exports.

The government was also urged to provide a level-playing field and benefits / relief that exporters of competing countries get to compete in the international market.

Exporters of knitwear achieved the milestone of increasing exports despite COVID-19 challenges. The government took measures for enhancement of exports by according priority to export sectors and introducing separate tariff of gas and electricity for five zero rated export sector enabling them to enhance the export.