Textile exports see increase after posting decline

ISLAMABAD   -  Textile exports increased 6% to $1.4 billion in December 2023, indicating a ‘notable’ improvement from Decem­ber 2022 when exports stood at $1.35 billion, according to the Bureau of Sta­tistics. The positive momentum con­tinued from November 2023, where textile exports totalled $1.319 billion, showcasing a steady upward trend in the sector’s performance towards the end of the year.

However, textile exports dropped by 5% from July to December of the cur­rent fiscal year (FY24). “Despite this promising growth in December, the overall performance of the textile sec­tor during the first half of the current fiscal year (July-December) has pre­sented a challenge. This cumulative decrease over the six months raises concerns about the sector’s ability to meet the ambitious government target of $25 billion for textile exports in the entire financial year (FY24),” said an expert from All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA).

Wishing anonymity, he maintained: “The textile industry holds significant importance in Pakistan’s economy, and its performance is closely moni­tored as it contributes substantially to the country’s export revenue and em­ployment generation.”

The expert, however, said the in­crease in textile exports in December was undoubtedly a positive signal, re­flecting the resilience of the textile in­dustry in Pakistan. “However, the chal­lenges faced by the textile industry in the first half of the fiscal year (FY24) cannot be overlooked.”

“To fully grasp the impact of this growth, as well as the decline in the preceding months, we must consider both internal and external factors. Globally, economic uncertainties driven by geopolitical tensions and demand fluctuations have likely impacted the first half of the fiscal year, potentially leading to decreased consumer confi­dence and shifts in trade dynamics. It is vital for Pakistan’s textile sector to closely monitor global trends, promptly adapt to evolving market demands, and bolster its competitiveness on the glob­al stage,” he stressed. Additionally, the expert maintained that internally, chal­lenges such as energy shortages and regulatory hurdles had plagued the tex­tile industry. “Addressing these issues is crucial for sustaining positive growth. Implementing comprehensive energy solutions, streamlining bureaucratic processes, and providing the necessary infrastructural support can significant­ly enhance the sector’s efficiency and overall performance,” he added.

The textile sector expert called for collaborative efforts between the government, industry stakeholders and associations to create a favour­able business environment in the country. “Strategic investments in re­search, development and technology will enhance the textile industry’s capabilities, aligning it with evolving consumer expectations and interna­tional standards.”

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