FAISALABAD - Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has expressed concern over 2.62 percent decline in clothing and textiles exports in July, the first month of the current fiscal. In a communication to the Prime Minister, chairman PTEA Tahir Ishaque Bharara appealed for restoration of R&D (research and development) Support Facility to save the textile industry from total collapse and to prevent the laying off of millions of laborers. Textile exports in July 2008 declined to $ 905.9 million against $930.3m in July 2007, he said, quoting figures released by Federal Bureau of Statistics. The reduction is both volume and value wise, he explained. Identifying factors behind this dismal performance, the PTEA chief said our products are not competitive in the international market, burdened as they are with recurrent price hikes in raw material, duty on fiber, dyes and chemicals and high cost of inputs like gas (31% increase), electricity (20%) and petroleum (22%) which together push up the cost of production by 30 percent, he added. These factors leading to high production costs coupled with anti-dumping duty in Europe and high tariff barriers in America have rendered our exports uncompetitive, he said. "The textile industry is under great pressure and collapse is imminent," he said, urging the early restoration of the R&D Support Facility to salvage the situation at this point.