The textile sector is the largest employer of industrial labor in Pakistan and accounts for over 60 per cent of the country’s exports. In the backdrop of a competitive regional landscape, with countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam having emerged as sizeable players on the global stage, Pakistan has to invest in the entire value chain of the textile sector on a priority basis, including innovative solutions for enhancing cotton yields.
Backward linkages where large industrial players integrate into corporate farming for cotton could be a potential model to explore in this regard. Another key area of focus is checking undocumented imports of textile and apparel products from China. Undocumented or under-valued imports of such products distort the local market dynamics making it impossible for local players across the whole value chain to compete.
Companies in textile and apparel segment say they are willing to make further investments if they receive the right support, including simplification of cumbersome processes and procedures through effective one-window facilitation. Exploring linkages with China, especially with the industry on China’s west coast that is closer to Pakistan in terms of physical distance, in the form of contract manufacturing of garments, could be a profitable venture. This strategy could be very important given the context of rising domestic consumption in China.