The Pakistan Federal Minister for Textile and Industries Abbas Khan Afridi in his keynote address at the First Pakistan Textile Summit on Thursday stressing the need to formulate a comprehensive and long-term textile policy said that on incorporating the recommendations of stakeholders in the draft of the first textile policy, it would be forwarded to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in next three weeks for approval.
According to Afridi, both the government and the industry would have to join hands to fully exploit the potential of all related sectors of â€˜white goldâ€™ the country has in huge quantity.
The textile sector alone has the potential to drive the country out of its financial crisis, provided they start focusing on exporting value-added products instead of raw materials.
EU Head of Delegation Lars Gunnar Wigemark advised local entrepreneurs to ensure progress on the conventions agreed with the EU by the Pakistan government.
Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan Marcel De Vink stressed upon the textile industry to ensure quality standards while ILO Country Director Francesco dâ€™Ovidio appreciated the governmentâ€™s efforts to ensure GSP+ compliance and cooperation for buyerâ€™s forum.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Central Chairman S. M. Tanveer apprised the participants about the challenges, opportunities and threats faced by the textile industry.
On the occasion, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar promised to provide the farmers community with BT cotton seeds as early as next year in order to boost the per acre cotton yield.
The reason why cotton production has been stagnant in Pakistan is that out of 750 companies providing different seed varieties to farmers, some 700 are fake. The licences of all these fake companies should be cancelled.
The governor said that despite all odds, the textile exports to European Union increased to $1 billion in the last seven years.
PRGMEA Chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that the value-added exporters had been waiting for invitation from the textile ministry which never arrived.
Although, PRGMEA Coordinator Arshad Aziz was included in the list of speakers, but he stayed away from the summit to protest against the discriminatory attitude of the textile ministry,
Interestingly, both Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) and Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) were not invited to the first Pakistan textile summit.
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