FAISALABAD: Textile exporters have lamented the increasing cost of doing business in the country and are “desperate” for government’s attention, adding that the industry has lost its viability in the face of stiff competition from regional peers.
Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) Chairman Sohail Pasha said that due to the inefficient and unfriendly socio-economic environment the cost of doing business has escalated. He added that the soaring cost of inputs has rendered Pakistan’s textile exports uncompetitive in the international market.
“Taking advantage, rival countries are gaining markets that have traditionally been held by Pakistan’s textile exporters,” Pasha lamented.
“The past few years have proven to be disastrous, particularly in Punjab. While risings costs have blunted Pakistan’s competitive edge, energy constraints have crippled whatever remained.
“With their government’s support, regional rivals have accelerated their exports and increased their market share in the global textile trade.”
Pasha said that from 2008 to 2013, Bangladesh’s textile exports grew by a whopping 160%. Similarly, China’s exports grew by 97%, India’s by 94% while Pakistan’s textile export grew only marginally-by 22%.
With such high growth, Bangladesh has increased its share in global textile trade from 1.09% in 2006 to 3.30% in 2013. Similarly, India’s share increased from 3.4% to 4.70%, China’s from 27% to 37% while Pakistan’s has dropped from 2.20% to 1.80%.
Declaring the energy crisis to be the biggest factor restricting production growth, PTEA Chairman said that the textile industry faced 27% gas load shedding in 2010, 41% in 2011, 46% in 2012, 66% in 2013, and 70% in 2014. It observed 37 days on average power load-shedding in 2011, 66 days in 2012, 96 days in 2013 and 122 in 2014.
Between 2008 and 2013, China has added 35.29 million spindles, India added 14.20 million, and Bangladesh added 1.98 million while Pakistan added only 1.02 million spindles, added the PTEA chief.
Pasha requested the government to level the playing field and provide incentives that would boost exports, just like their neighbour India has with the technology Up gradation cheme, Focus Product Scheme and Export Promotion Goods.
Exporters urged the government to formulate clear-cut policies and rescue the degenerating export-intensive textile industry. “Tranquilising the energy costs and stabilising the energy supply is only the start, the government needs to review the entire tax regime.”