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Over 100 Pak textile mills closed down in 2017

The year 2017 was a bad year for basic textiles in Pakistan as over a 100 mills closed down. They were unable to compete in the domestic or global markets. Their protectionist demands also adversely impacted the value-added sector.

In 2005 when the textile trade became quota-free creditable institutions declared Pakistan’s basic textiles as the most efficient in the world. The reason was that besides having competent skilled textile labor, its machines were new and better than its global competitors’. Even then the industry further upgraded its equipment in the next two years. That was the last technology upgrade of basic textiles in Pakistan. Twelve years onwards, the basic textile industry is in shambles operating on 10 to 12 year old technology.

New spinning machines compared with those used in Pakistan are speedier as they produce more yarn per hour. They consume 60 per cent less power and employ only one-third of the workforce. Those units that have managed to stay operational have either upgraded their technology or are running composite mills that convert the yarn into fabric. Some have gone further by producing garments from this fabric.

Nevertheless, in 2017 exports of knitwear and garments have registered a ten per cent increase.