China’s dwindling share in the global textile and clothing business, because of surging cost of production and Pakistan’s expected duty-free access to the European Union (EU) from next year, are being viewed by the textile industry as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for the country.On the other hand, massive opportunities are about to open up for Pakistan to at least double its share in the global textile and clothing trade of $800 billion, from slightly above 1.5 per cent to three per cent over the next two to three years.However, the country is not fully geared up to grab the upcoming opportunities.
“Pakistan is in a unique position today to double its present share of just over $13 billion in the international textile and clothing trade in the short to medium-term,” believes Amir Fayyaz, a leading Lahore-based producer of processed fabric for the world’s major brands.
China’s share in the global textile and clothing trade has dropped from $300 billion to almost $270 billion in the last one year. “Imagine where will our textile exports reach even if we succeed in grabbing half of the market share China has lost,” he said. Many Chinese textile companies had shown keen interest in setting up joint ventures with Pakistani textile producers, added Fayyaz.
The reduction in China’s share in the global textile trade is only one part of the story.Another major window of opportunity for Pakistan’s textiles is likely to open up from January 1, only four months from now in the shape of duty-free access to the EU market. However, many textile producers doing business with buyers from EU member countries say the chances of Pakistan increasing its share in the European market immediately are not very bright because of the energy crisis at home.