UK minister hails perks to textile sector

Published February 18, 2015
British Minister for Cabinet of Office Paymaster General Called on the Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi. — INP
British Minister for Cabinet of Office Paymaster General Called on the Federal Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi. — INP

ISLAMABAD: Federal Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi has said that Pakistan will fully avail the preferential market access for textile products under the GSP Plus scheme.

During a meeting with visiting British Minister for Cabinet Office and Paymaster Francis Maude on Tuesday, Afridi said the textile sector was one of the most important industrial sectors of Pakistan as it was not only the highest foreign exchange earner but also employed 40 per cent of the country’s industrial workforce.

According to an official statement issued after the meeting, he said the government had always been taking measures to develop the textile sector through various support schemes, policy interventions and capacity building.

Afridi mentioned that the Textile Policy 2014-19 would address the issues of all the sub-sectors of value-chain by laying down a comprehensive plan for the sustainable growth for the next five years.

The minister reiterated that the country aimed to double the exports to $26 billion by 2019. The target, he said, may appear ambitious but “only value-addition to 13 million bales per year that Pakistan produces can easily help us achieve it”.

The federal minister admitted that provision of uninterrupted energy remains an issue, but he said the government was tackling the energy crisis on a priority basis.

The public-private partnership initiative for labour law compliance would result in enhanced compliance to international standards, he said, adding that this would help to maintain GSP Plus status as well as enhance business productivity and sustainability.

The British cabinet minister hailed the initiatives being taken by the Pakistan government and the textile industry for the sector’s development and sustainability.

The visiting minister assured full support and cooperation of the British government in areas of mutual interest.

British High Commissioner Philip Barton and Secretary Textiles Amir Marwat also attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2015

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