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Pakistan needs to learn from China’s Xinjiang Textile Park

"Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) recently approved a Rs 12 million grant to facilitate the wind-up process of Pakistan Textile City, which was inaugurated in 2011 at Port Qasim Karachi. This textile city never produced a single meter of cloth. On the other side, the Xinjiang Textile Park was inaugurated in the border province of China-Pakistan. Xinjiang now grows 60 per cent of Chinese cotton."

 

 

Pakistan needs to learn from Chinas Xinjiang Textile Park

 

Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) recently approved a Rs 12 million grant to facilitate the wind-up process of Pakistan Textile City, which was inaugurated in 2011 at Port Qasim Karachi. This textile city never produced a single meter of cloth. On the other side, the Xinjiang Textile Park was inaugurated in the border province of China-Pakistan. Xinjiang now grows 60 per cent of Chinese cotton.

Only in 2016, 22 new enterprises were opened in Aksu Textile Park in southern Xinjiang, producing 10 million metres of cotton cloth with 800,000 spindles every year. China plans to add another 100,000 new jobs in textile manufacturing in Xinjiang alone, which already saw 112,300 new workers hired in 2016. While the Pakistan Textile City intended to produce 80,000 new jobs, and in turn created only administrative jobs in the headquarters. Built with around Rs 1.2 billion in an area of 1,250 acres, around 774 industrial plots of various sizes were developed in Pakistan Textile City. To develop the area by constructing a 3 km road, water tanks, etc., a loan of Rs 2.5 billion was also taken from the National Bank of Pakistan. These two cities present a stark contrast in the way both countries look at textile as a sector.

Tough times for Karachi textiles sector

Pakistan needs to learn from Chinas

 

Looking at the plight of textiles in the city, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) issued a statement saying, “The anticipated glut of textile and garment from the Xinjiang textile park in the export as well as domestic markets of Pakistan poses a serious threat to Pakistan’s textile sector already struggling to remain afloat. Setting up of the textile park at Xinjiang will give a heavy blow to Pakistani textile exports.”

In 2015, a presentation was made on how Lawrencepur Brand, Pakistan’s premier brand of clothing, was forced to move operations from Pakistan to China. Lawrencepur is now made in China. According to analysts, the city is losing business, market share and jobs. This shift has really happened because of the adoption of new technology, innovation and new industry, forcing old industry to shut down. In the present scenario, local companies in Pakistan are either closed down or taken over by the Chinese shareholders. In all these things, Chinese companies can’t be blamed because they are ruling by applying the principle of ‘survival of the fittest’.

What needs to be done?

If Pakistan textile entrepreneurs want to remain in business, they have to sharply redefine their business methods. There is a need for a clearly defined textile by the government for the upliftment of sector. Having said that, despite government support, Pakistan’s textile industry lags behind Malaysia’s MATRADE (similar to Pakistan’s Trade Development Authority), which is a great example of how its officers work tirelessly to gain global access.

 
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