Value addition remains the only viable path for the textile industry

In our previous issue, we provided our readers with a compendium of the annual textile statistics and analysis that covered the last fiscal year from July 2018 to June 2019. 2020 brings unique challenges for our textile industry. It is evident that during first 7 months  export growth in the value added sectors show a promise of revival.

The apparel sector, is leading the growth with a total increase of 8.4% from US$3.24 Billion to US$3.5 Billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2019-20 July 2019 -Jan 2020.

The ready made garments accounted for 48% of total apparel exports for the said period. Exports increased by 10.84% from $1.51 Billion to $1.68 Billion. The readymade garments sector incorporates the denim exports as well which is a thriving sub-sector of Pakistan’s textile industry.

The knitwear sector had a growth of 6.27% for a total of $1.84 Billion. The unit value of knitwear export is very low at US$25.25 /dozen.  Significant investment has taken place in the knitting sector in the last three years.  Import of  of knitting machines in Pakistan increased from Rs 1969 million in 2016-17 to Rs 4509 million in 2018-19, thus showing a remarkable increase of 128%.The raw material for the knitting sector is cotton yarn which is at the moment facing declining exports and therefore a strong knitwear sector is a blessing for the local spinners. Pakistan’s share in the global knitting sector remains negligible despite growth in exports.

During last seven months (July 19-Jan 20) growth in the bedware sector have remained 2.7% in value and 9.78%n terms of quantity for a total exports of $1.39Billion.  Unit value of bed ware exports  decreased by 6.38% in the same period.

Towel industry faced a decline of 0.5% in exports in terms of value and 6.3% in terms of quantity.  In terms of value effectively the status quo has been maintained in the first seven months. The growth has been practically stagnant in the towel sector.

The textile industry of Pakistan is struggling to survive facing intense global competition. The situation is far from satisfactory. The only way forward is to strive for the highest value addition through continuous R&D, brand development and marketing as well as investments in lean and efficient manufacturing facilities. The GSP Plus duty free status given to Pakistan by the EU in 2014 gave a much needed boost which is due for appraisal and renewal.  Hopefully Pakistan will be able to maintain this vital benefit to our textile industry through diligent compliance of the social and environmental treaties ratified by Pakistan.

The current issue devoted the apparel and knitwear with detailed analysis of the current status of these high value added sectors.  Also as an excellent example of excellence, a special report on Archroma Pakistan can found in this issue highlighting their commitment and invaluable contribution to the value added  textile sector.


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