KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Saturday said that country lags behind in value addition, which is a reason behind unemployment and lower volume of exports.
It asked the government to make a detailed plan to stimulate value addition in textiles and other sectors to encourage exports and employment after award of GSP Plus.
Textile and sector should be a priority which contributes 08 percent to GDP, 54 percent to exports, produces 24 percent of industrial value-added products, employs 40 percent of urban labour, and absorbs 40 percent of bank credit, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI.
Speaking to the business community, he said that China generates $4 billion from one million bales, India $2 billion while Pakistan can only generate $1 billion due to lack of value addition, want of upgradation, paucity of policy support, high interest rates and increasing energy cost adding to cost of doing business.
He said that apart from textiles, allied industry needs special attention of the policymakers to improve its performance, which will guarantee increased exports.
Zubair Ahmed Malik asked the textile millers to waste no time in modernisation of their units to get maximum benefit out of GSP Plus trade relaxations.
He advised them not to compromise on quality and consider importing part of the latest machinery from India, which is economical as compare to any other country.
Lauding the PM’s Youth Loan Scheme, the FPCCI chief said those getting loans should prefer to invest in different small businesses related to textiles like stitching to ensure safety of their funds and get better returns.
Malik said Bangladesh has lost cost advantage after Islamabad got the latest trade relaxation while the latest political development has deterred capital outflow to Dhaka which should be taken as an opportunity.
Moreover, the sliding rupee will help textile sector earn a couple of extra billions of dollars while hike in power prices and interest rates can threaten the exports.
The government lacks resources to overcome energy crisis therefore business community should step forward and take part in the power generation, he said.
“GSP should not be seen as an opportunity to the textile sector as over 6,000 products will enjoy lower tariffs in the EU which can be used to diversify exports,” said Zubair Ahmed Malik.
He warned that the GSP scheme is linked to good governance, which must be ensured by the government at any cost.
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