LAHORE   -   The country’s knitwear apparel textile has shown a significant growth as knitted garments’ export during first 10 months of the financial year from July 2018 to April 2019 has registered an increase of 8.76 percent to $2.39 billion against $ 2.20 billion of the same period of last year. According to the latest data of Federal Bureau of Statistics, during the period under review, the export of woven garments was $ 2.18 billion showing an increase of 3.21 percent over the corresponding period last year. On the other hand, the whole textile group was on decline with exports of $11.13 billion, 0.02 percent less than the exports of last year’s corresponding period. Similarly Pakistan’s total exports have reported a downfall of 0.11% against the export of the same period last year. Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) chairman Adil Butt observed that by showing comparatively well performance the value-added textile category has proved that it has been the main driver of growth in the country’s overall exports. He said the value-added sector achieved growth because of preferential access to the 28-nation European Union under the GSP+ scheme which can further be enhanced with the government’s support. He said that Pakistan direly needed to establish an Aggressive Marketing Plan for garment export to get maximum benefits of GSP-Plus status. He said that apparel sector can play leading role in earning foreign exchange and boosting exports. He suggested the government to establish a taskforce, especially at a time when Chinese garment industry, which has more than 30 percent share of world apparel market, is relocating. He added that a regional taskforce needed to be established to determine issues being confronted by the industry and then to suggest measures to ensure its viability and competitiveness in the international market. Adil Butt observed that the garment industry is less capital intensive, provides 4 times as many jobs for the same investment, uses less energy and adds more value. Bangladesh’s knitwear share stands at $15.18 billion, which is 50 percent of their total textile exports of $30.61 billion.

He expressed concerned that Pakistan is the largest producer of cotton regionally, but its garment exports are lagging behind. “The taskforce will recommend solid steps to enhance textile investment, increase garment export and generate job opportunities in the country