Pakistan’s textile industry is facing new threats of further losing its market share to China. China is heavily investing in textile manufacturing facilities in its province bordering the South Asian nation. The anticipated glut of textiles and garments from the Xinjiang textile park in the export as well as domestic markets of Pakistan poses a serious threat to Pakistan’s textile sector which is already struggling to remain afloat.
China is giving primary importance to Xinjiang province, bordering Pakistan. The province accounts for 60 per cent of China’s seven million tons of cotton production. The underdeveloped province is seeing a rapid industrialisation under China’s plan of developing it into a major textile exporting hub. Billions are being poured into garment factory constructions. By 2020, Xinjiang is expected to produce about 500 million garments a year.
China is also building a 3000-km road from Gwadar in Pakistan to Kashgar in China. Pakistani markets are already awash with low cost Chinese products. Pakistan fears a similar influx of goods under China’s transit trade. Textile exports contribute around 60 per cent to Pakistan’s total exports, which are already on the declining trend owing to a host of factors, including high production costs and lack of incentives.