LAHORE, June 26: Pakistan has immediate potential for $10 billion increase in exports through conversion of its yarn grey and dyed fabric into finished goods if it is also provided with duty-free access like other 83 other countries.

This was stressed by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) leadership during the Pak-US Investment Conference in Dubai, said a message received here on Wednesday.

Aptma Chairman Ahsan Bashir, Group Leader Gohar Ejaz, Bashir Ali Mohammed, Amir Fayyaz and Ahmed Kamal represented Pakistan textile industry in the conference and presented Pakistan case for duty-free market through video presentation on softer country image as destination for sourcing textiles and clothing.

Mike Delaney, the US trade representative, chaired the session and appreciated the way Pakistan was presented by Aptma.

The presentation also compared Pakistan with other regional competitors having duty free market access. As a result, Pakistan exports have been stuck at US$13 billion, exporting yarn grey and dyed fabric to those countries who have duty free access in the countries where Pakistan finished goods have to pay 23 per cent duty.

It may be noted that the Aptma started initiatives of preparing a showcase of Pakistan textile industry to the international buyers under the supervision of its International Trade Committee. The committee has been working on prime objective of re-attracting the US buyers for Pakistan as a destination of textile products with better management practices covering entire value chain from fibre to fashion.

Aptma strictly believes that once the objective of market access is materialised, the textile industry would speed up to undertake Greenfield and BMR investment projects for creating jobs, utilising domestically produced fibres in order to ensure a win-win situation from cotton farmer to the end producer.

The textile industry has deep backward and forward linkages, engaging not only farmers and large scale industry but also variety of cottage industries and creating additional jobs to employ youth workforce. This is an opportune time for the policymakers and our honourable leaders to provide unhindered energy supply including electricity and gas for utilising the existing closed capacities and new investment plans.

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