Month: July 2012

Pakistan Textile Industry

When comparing it to neighboring China, India and Bangladesh, Pakistan’s textile industry has not been faring well. Although Pakistan’s textile exports did witness an increase during 2004-05 and 2010-11, for the same time frame, Bangladesh encountered it at four times the escalation.  As well, while there was an increase in clothing exports and textiles from India from $13.5bn to $23.31bn, Pakistan’s exports increased from $8.82bn to $13.80bn.  In addition, it seems Pakistan has only encountered this lack of growth in recent years. 

Ashan Bashir, the chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, pointed out that six years ago Pakistan’s textile export industry was significantly higher than that of Bangladesh.  Today, it is substantially higher than that of Pakistan, by $7bn.  As well, between 2004 and 2005, experts in the industry viewed Pakistan as the most lucrative venue for textile investment.  But now, a mere six years later, it looks like that perspective has been completely obliterated.

Thus it is time for politics to take a stand in the textile industry.  Should policy makers review their work on what has happened to the country’s textile industry, they might find the real reasons as to why Pakistan has failed to reach its potential.  If Bangladesh, China and India have been thriving so greatly, why hasn’t Pakistan?  There is a chance that planners have not been longsighted enough and that entrepreneurs have simply failed in their tasks. 

Textile and Cotton

It should also be noted however, that Pakistan did encounter shortages of raw material such as cotton and polyester during the time their exports failed to escalate as they should have done.  However, when looking at those figures, it seems that that might be a myth.  A staggering $425 million from cotton exports was earned by Pakistan during the 2011-12 fiscal year, while, simultaneously, $320 million was spent on its import.  Indeed, approximately a staggering $320m worth of cotton bales were imported, showing an increase of cotton traders to $105m to the national exchequer throughout the most recent fiscal year.

This is quite impressive, especially given the fact that there were substantial rains throughout Punjab and Sindh.  Still, cotton production remains at a high, at close to 15 million bales and this figure was even with the floods claiming over 2 million bales, with close to three-quarters of cotton crops in Sindh being destroyed.

So ultimately, even with the lack of increase in Pakistan’s textile industry in recent years as compared to other neighboring countries, the obstacles the region has combated vis-à-vis cotton is indicating that it is still in the running for competitive exports in the industry.

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