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An exposure of apparel industry in Pakistan.

An Exposure of Apparel Industry of Pakistan

The Pakistan is fast emerging on the world textile map as an important exporter of quality Cotton Textiles, Apparel and other made-up goods. The industry is spending millions of dollars on increasing their production capacities and upgrading quality, and with duty-free imports of machinery, quality control, skilled manpower and homegrown cotton, Pakistani textiles and apparel are being exported to buyers around the world. In order to promote sales of Pakistani textiles and apparel abroad, the export policy has provided incentives for setting up export-oriented industries, and exports are being encouraged through procedural simplification and institutional support for value-added cotton products.

We have more than 300 registered garment exporters. Their fashion apparel has come into great demand in countries such as the US, to UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and the Soviet Union. The country exported approximately US $388 million worth of fashion apparel in the previous fiscal year. Their rivals in fashion apparel are said to be Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Singapore, the Philippines and Bangladesh. The country hopes to gain US $450 million in the current year by virtue of undertaking an active campaign for promoting overseas sales of readymade garments.

Despite the fierce competitiveness in the world market, we feel that Pakistan will further expand its share, and would like to see apparel exports become an even greater source of revenue. As incentives are being given and measures are being taken to promote the industry, we consider that all things combined should give a push to the textile and apparel industry. Pakistan has a competitive advantage as it is the fifth largest cotton producing country in the world. Pakistani entrepreneurs are familiar with the industry. Moreover, the product quality is improving and being appreciated. Accordingly, the traders of apparel are very optimistic that Pakistan will be able to hold its own position in the international market in the next five years.

The crucial point for consideration and action is that the tide of time may not by pass us once again and after 5 years we may not be looking back with regret that countries which were behind us today have outstripped us in the race. There is a manifest need, compulsive need for a national commitment to promotion of exports. A national commitment by its very definition means that it is not continued to a single Government agency or a ministry but embraces the entire government machinery, the entire private sector and financial institutions. This commitment is the need of the hour and there is no other way but this, to really achieve a break-through in exports.

In order to promote the industry for the sake of more and more adequate foreign earnings which are badly needed by our country in the wake of adverse impact of Gulf Crisis and curtailment of foreign aid, it is the need of hour to review the entire situation. The fairs and exhibitions in real sense can be considered as appropriate promotional device for the growth of this particular industry. In this context it will be not out of way to mention here that while I was the Chairman of Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparel Manufacturers & Exporters Association, I have made a plan to device an appropriate scheme for the promotion of apparel industry which is treated as backbone of our national economy.

Everyone will appreciate to know that it is a major importance to a country to put it's products on display at fairs and exhibitions. Such activity would form part of most vital promotional device. It is to be noted that our nearest countries like India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Korea have already recognized the importance of apparel fair and they are organising the same yearly or twice a year for the growth of their apparel industry.

However, keeping in view the glaring features, in term of rapid industrialisation and aggressive marketing strategy as mentioned by us, we have decided to device an appropriate scheme for the promotion of Fashion Apparel Industry so as Pakistan's first ever Fashion Apparel Fair (FAF'87) was successfully organized by Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparel Manufacturers & Exporters Association at Karachi Sheraton Hotel Karachi, keeping in view the aims and objects.

To exchange mutually beneficial views and to negotiate lucrative commercial contacts. Also to prove it a rewarding experience both for the exhibitors and the foreign buyers. An exercise to yield brilliant results. While the manufacturers and exporters were able to accumulate a lot of new ideas to create fashion forward designs and convert them into super styles to gain significant share in the most intricated and competitive international market in the future. The explore possibilities of joint collaboration and franchise system and create good atmosphere for investment. To promote competitiveness on an international scale, to build infrastructural facilities and to make efforts for diversification of economy, broaden the range of export thereby upgrading the industry's productivity.

It was this, encouraging response which made the Fair Committee of the Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparel Manufacturers and Exporters Association to make this fair a regular feature in our country. The consequent fairs that were held from 1988 to 1990 were an overwhelming success with same zeal and intensified efforts we are looking forward to the forthcoming 5th Fashion Apparel Fair 1991 (FAF'91) which will be held from September 7-9, 1991 at Karachi. The fact that over the years there has been an increase in exhibitors and so well as the visitors from overseas who have devoted their time and money on their own accord is enough evidence of the success of our activities. Here it would be not out of way to mention that Pakistan is a developing country in search of international recognition for the capabilities of its garment manufacturing. The country now has a stable democratic government in the hands of able leadership.

The Pakistan garment industry only came into existence in the seventies and has experienced an amazing growth rate in a decade. Despite the fact it has achieved creditable feats in such a short time, its exports are negligible in comparison to India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. It has suffered from rising prices of raw materials, duty drawbacks and drawbacks in textile quotas etc. But it is felt, given incentives and concessions, the apparel industry can become Pakistan's foremost foreign exchange earner by increasing its shared of the world market, particularly the US. Like most fledgling efforts, there is always room for improvement if the fashion trade fair is to impress foreign visitors.

The present state of affairs in wake of certain international crisis and suspension of foreign aid compel us to gear up the promotional efforts on top level with full zeal and go ahead with all promotional devices according to available resources and capabilities. We expect that our sincere efforts will make us able to achieve the main objectives of holding the fair to prove how creative and competitive the Pakistan Apparel Industry is.
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Author:Anwar, Rashid
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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