As containment of the pandemic led to many world buyers diverting orders to domestic manufacturers, Pakistan textile industry was able to scale up its production capacity to pre-COVID-19 levels, says a report by the Tribune. This growth in textile production has been achieved through a big jump in the import of basic raw materials as the recent heavy rainfall and pest attack damaged notable portion of cotton crops in the fields to a multi-year low.
Asif Inam, Former Vice-Chairman, All Pakistan Mills Associati(APTMA) says, precautionary measures to safeguard people from the virus and industry-specific economic measures by the government have helped the industry to resume production to full capacity. However, this full-capacity production excludes those textile units which closed down during the crisis, said Inam. Pakistan's textile industry is in a much better position compared to regional competitors as well. Many world buyers have diverted their orders to Pakistan from China, India and Bangladesh for different reasons including US-China trade war and halt in production in India with worsening of COVID-19 crisis there.
Secondly, the industry recovered on a fast pace with the government's support in the shape of rationalizing energy price to a regional competitive level, the continued supply of raw material and subsidized financing for the expansion of production and setting up new units.
Pakistan saw a jump of almost 1,000 per cent in import of cotton in dollar-term at $67.43 million in August compared to $6.30 million in the same month of last year, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Cotton imports surged 255 per cent in the first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal year 2021.