by Mariam Raheem
ISLAMABAD, Oct. 14 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan's exports to China have shown impressive double-digit growth in the fiscal year 2021, going above $2 billion. Impact of the FTA phase 2 between the two iron brothers is evident from the fact that Pakistan’s exports to China are continuously surging despite the pandemic and there is still huge potential to be explored.
“Pakistan largely drives its competitiveness from home grown cotton. Unfortunately local cotton production is declining and has to rely on imported cotton. Hopefully, with Chinese intervention in agriculture R&D, technology and machinery, we will be competing all again,” Mr. Engn: Bilal Jamil, Senior Vice President, APBUMA said in an interview with Gwadar Pro recently.
Pakistan’s home textile sector largely comprises of SMEs and is directly dependent on local cotton yarn supply which relies on local cotton production. Mr. Engn: Bilal Jamil explained that Pakistan’s cotton production has steeply declined over the past years. “A sustainable cotton production is imperative to the competitive advantage of textile industry. Last year, yarn price steadily increased due to shrieked cotton production and increases yarn demand which hampered home textile sector severely.”
APBUMA is one of the major associations of textile SMEs. In this regard, he suggested that Pakistan and China set up joint ventures in the same field, so that Pakistan’s SMEs can fully benefit from China’s expertise and experience, which will promote textile exports, value addition and investment in production facilities with modern machinery, etc.
“There is no doubt that the transfer of large manufacturers from China to Pakistan will have a beneficial impact on industry growth, but if more Chinese SMEs also come to Pakistan, the bilateral trade will be further strengthened. After the establishment of joint ventures, production costs are reduced and the products can be exported to other countries, including Europe and the United States.” Mr. Engn: Bilal Jamil added that, “China is far big economy as compared to Pakistan. SME joint ventures should be composed of 55:45 ratio of Pak-China investment and share-holding of companies.”
According to Mr. Engn: Bilal Jamil, the APBUMA delegation was honored to meet exclusively with H.E. Dr. Arif Alvi, Pakistan’s President at President House recently, and SME’s core issues were discussed in detail. President also said that new textile policy 2020-2025 to be approved will bring great benefits to SMEs.
“Establishing textile factories in SEZs under CPEC is a win-win situation for both local and Chinese friends. We have local cotton production and road infrastructure leading to Gwadar Port. We welcome Chinese friends to bring their technology, management skills to local manufacturers and train them with available resources.” Mr. Engn: Bilal Jamil further said that, “We have requested to the Ministry of Industries to establish an industrial estate in vicinity of Multan to cluster small manufacturing units with common facilities of training, textile processing (Sizing, Dyeing) compliant with international standards and certification.”
This article originally appeared on Gwadar Pro.