LAHORE: The Pakis­tan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Expo­rters Association (Prg­m­ea) asked the government to convince the Turkish authorities to waive off 42.2 per cent Safeguard Measures Duty (SMD) placed on Pakistan’s app­arel imports.

The move has resulted in decline of Pakistan’s textile export to Turkey, which have dropped by almost 50pc to around $500 million from $1 billion, the association said at a meeting with textile ministry officials on Saturday.

“The Pakistan government raised the issue at the highest level with the Turkish officials but there has been no development,” the meeting was informed.

The participants were informed that Pakistan’s bilateral trade with Turkey grew at good pace and crossed $1bn mark in 2010-11, but it started declining after the imposition of safeguard duties in August 2011.

Both countries were engaged in talks over Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Prgmea Central Chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that Turkey has no threats from Pakistani garments since it is manufacturing 95pc of fashion and casual wear.

Mr Khokhar said that bilateral trade decreased from $1.082bn in 2010-11 to $630.46m during current fiscal, showing 42pc decrease.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2015

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