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Pakistan garment exporters lose edge, rues PRGMEA

Pakistan’s export competitiveness is declining as readymade garment manufacturers are dealing with high cost of production due to increase in energy costs as compared to competing countries, says Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) central chairman Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq,. Tariff rates of electricity for industry and commercial concerns are considerably higher in Pakistan than in competing countries basically due to over 50 per cent line losses and theft.

Today Pakistan ranks 138 out of 189 on ease of doing business, while last year it was 136. The high cost of doing business has started hitting the textile industry severely, which is evident from the growing number of factory closures in the sector. Oil prices have declined internationally but the Pakistan industry has not yet got relief.

Pakistan has set an export target of $35 billion to be achieved during the next three years. In recent years the country has been exporting more of value added products than of raw cotton, yarn or fabrics. In recent times, textile enterprises have increased the use of synthetic fibers and yarns. Garment exports from Pakistan to the European Union saw an increase of around 21 per cent in the first year of the GSP Plus scheme. The EU is now the largest importer of Pakistani textiles and garments.