KARACHI: With textile exports, especially value-added, marking a significant growth in first four months of this fiscal year, industry officials on Thursday said a wave of new investment in the sector was on cards.
Officials said the sector invested $3-3.5 billion on modernisation and expansion in the last few years and the investment is likely to match $5 billion, witnessed during Musharraf era when
the sector was undergoing major modernisation, balancing and replacement (BMR).
“The figures can be matched in next six to eight months provided the government provides the sector level-playing field”, Zubair Motiwala, a leading textile industrialist told The News International.
Exports of various categories of value-added textile goods went up substantially in July-October period of this financial year compared to the corresponding period of previous year, as per latest figures released by Ministry of Commerce.
Exports of men’s garments jumped by a massive 32 percent to $1.584 billion in the months under review compared to $1.201 billion in the same period last year.
Home textile exports grew 22 percent to $1.575 billion in July-October of 2021-22 against $1.294 billion in the same months a year ago.
Exports of cotton fabric increased 20 percent to $745 million in first four months of current fiscal compared to $622 million in the same months of last fiscal.
Likewise, exports of jerseys and cardigans soared 60 percent and women’s garments increased 20 percent in the period under review compared to same months during the last fiscal.
Motiwala attributed the growth in value-added textile exports to global Covid lockdowns when India was closed and orders were diverted to Pakistan.
Similarly, buyers also moved to Pakistan after being dismayed by Bangladesh child labour issues.
“Buyers do not change their suppliers swiftly. Luckily, Pakistan captured these buyers in Covid times and it is very hard for them to again switch to new suppliers,” said Motiwala.
He pointed out that export figures of value-added textile goods would have been much bigger if the shipping charges had not been raised massively in recent times.
“Textile sector only wants even-playing field from the government in the form of continuous supply of gas to the sector as disruption will pose serious threat to the sector, which is presently buoyant by registering the much-needed growth for the country.”
He said more investment in the import of machinery for textile sector expansion and modernisation would boost sector’s prospects in terms of high growth in exports.
“We believe that $5 billion investment in Musharraf era would be matched in next six to eight months as the sector has invested $5 billion so far,” Motiwala hoped.