LAHORE - The value-added textile sector has stressed the need for formulating a new sector wise aggressive marketing plan to enhance exports, getting the maximum benefit of GSP Plus status, as the country is facing constant decline in the export .

While addressing the Annual General Meeting, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that the association has decided to devise a long-term aggressive strategy to get benefits of GSP Plus status. He deplored that it seemed that Pakistan’s textile industry has failed to get even minimum benefits of the GSP Plus status merely because of the government’s lack of interest in this regard.

The newly elected chairman Khokhar, soon after assuming the charge, held meetings with the commerce minister and textile secretary to discuss proposals for the improvement of the industry. He observed that industry has been competing global market without any roadmap and support, while their major competitors like India and China were utilising all channels and resources for capturing the world. He said that trade and industry dynamics was being changed globally and, there is a need to educate the labour force as per requirement of the industry for producing quality goods.

“Our goal will be now to assist our members to improve our technology for improvement in productivity. In this regard, PRGMEA has already engaged JICA for our member units’ technical assistance for the next four years,” he said. The chairman vowed to promote the association to new heights, thanking the members for reposing confidence on him to lead the PRGMEA for the fifth time. Newly elected vice chairman of North Zone, Jawwad Chaudhry, said that it was an honour for him to assume the office of the vice chairman for the year 2016-17.

He vowed to continue with his efforts for the promotion of the value-added textile industry. He said that his top priority would be uninterrupted energy supply to the apparel sector , resolution of tax related issues and a favourable environment for the promotion of garment industry, especially in Punjab.

On the occasion, Khokhar appreciated the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the announcement of support package aimed at promoting textile industry and urged him to announce the support as early as possible. “PM Nawaz Sharif should take the ownership of decline in textile export , ensuring implementation of textile policy, directing policy makers to work for reduction in all input costs, otherwise the export-oriented industries would not only shut down their operations, but millions of workers would also lose their jobs. Moreover, he should hold meetings with export-oriented industries on quarterly basis for improvement in present scenario,” Khokhar demanded.

The value-added textile industry demanded the government to appoint the textile minister immediately, as uncertainty is negatively affecting the whole textile sector which contributes more than 54 percent share in total exports of the country.

He said that textile has become the most important sector especially after grant of the GSP Plus status by the EU countries.