LAHORE-The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Sunday said that the country has achieved to secure more than $200 million business in one year’s span since 35th IAF (International Apparel Federation) Fashion Convention held last year in Nov in Lahore by the PRGMEA, which is expected to grow further manifold.

This was stated by PRGMEA Central Chairman Sohail A. Sheikh while addressing a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of global summit held last year where he cut the cake along with Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar and PRGMEA executive committee members. Sohail A. Sheikh said that this activity was arranged to keep Pakistan’s contact live with over 250 foreign delegates of the International Apparel Federation (IAF), providing them platform to interact with local garment entrepreneurs and place maximum orders in this difficult time of post-pandemic economic crunch.

“PRGMEA-IAF interaction in the wake of 35th IAF mega global summit we have generated over $200 million business so far despite worldwide lockdown amidst corona pandemic while further trade negotiation are also underway between the international buyers and the apparel sector of Pakistan,” PRGMEA Central Chairman observed. He also mentioned the recent greeting message of the PM Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood who had hailed the efforts of PRGMEA when the Germany’s fashion brand Hugo Boss placed its first order of sportswear to Pakistan. Giving credit of it to chief coordinator Ijaz Khokhar, the PM advisor also congratulated him to bring the IAF Convention to Pakistan. Sohail A. Sheikh observed that the world class event highlighted the real and soft image of Pakistan, besides updating the foreign buyers about what Pakistan produced, and ensure interaction among Pakistani exporters and international textile chains. The PRGMEA leader vowed to keep this liaison alive with the IAF delegates, with the ultimate target of prosperous Pakistan through jump in apparel exports.

Ijaz Khokhar, on this occasion, said that there were some other plans which were chalked out too as follow-up activities of the mega fashion convention but they were kept on hold due to the global pandemic slowdown. The Regional President of IAF and PRGMEA Chief Coordinator said that Pakistan can capture large share in the global apparel market if the government exempt cotton yarn from all types of taxes and duties for encouraging local exports. He further added that apparel industry should be allowed to import fabric as the weaving industry was unable to fulfill the growing demand for fashion wear. Ijaz Khokhar further said that currently, the garment sector has a limited product line due to non-availability of the latest fabric at the local level, adding that foreign buyers demanded new garment based on G3, G4, and technical fabric material and under the circumstance, there was a great need of product diversified to compete in the international market.

“At the moment the major challenge the industry is facing is of cotton shortage in the country, which may hurt the export and fulfill the shipment orders in hand. If the Pakistani industry fails to ship the goods in time Pakistan may lose the credibility of a reliable supplier. So to overcome this issue the government should abolish the 5 per cent customs duty and 5 per cent regularity duty on the import of yarn for at least 6 month until the arrival of new crop in the country.” He said that if this demand is accepted PRGMEA assures that in next quarter the business will grow and Pakistan will maintain the current per centage of the growth. “Even we are confident we will surpass the export target set by the government,” he added.

He proposed that Export Development Fund should be allocated for Research and Development in accordance with the concerned industrial sectors for bringing innovation and to improve the standard of products to cope with challenges of the global market, he said. 

With a view to enhance exports, the government will have to revise its policies in order to facilitate the export sector, he said and added that without the due support of the government, exporters were unable to grab the share of the global apparel market. He observed that despite certain odds, the business community engaged with the textile sector was making adequate efforts for increasing the export of the country.