FAISALABAD: US licensor Walt Disney has dropped Pakistan from its list of ‘Permitted Sourcing Countries’ from April 1, sources in the textile industry confirmed on Wednesday.

The US entertainment giant banned any import from Pakistan as the country failed to satisfy the trading partner company of its intentions to improve what it considered “poor governance standards”.

“There is no ambiguity in the position taken by Disney. No shipment is permissible to any certified agent or vendor dealing in the brand of Walt Disney merchandise after April 30,” Azhar Majeed Sheikh, the chairman of Arzoo Textile Mills, told Dawn.

“Anyone (importer or exporter) found violating the ban will be liable to heavy penalties besides being blacklisted,” he said.

The US company’s decision has stripped Pakistan of $200-million exports of textile products.

The firm issued stiffer warning to Bangladesh when it decided to put Pakistan on its watch list because of repeated incidents of factory fires in textile garment units.

However, Bangladesh government managed to get a waiver by getting a placement in ILO/IFC ‘Better Work Programme’ that allows close monitoring of the country for social audit.

“It is an irony that Bangladesh managed to evade the ban and continues to trade with Disney, but the inefficient and ineffective doyens of commercial relations occupying cushy seats at the ministry and the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan failed the business community,” a frustrated textile exporter commented.

“The people responsible for the fiasco should be taken to task if the government wishes to fare better on the governance scale,” another businessman said.

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