Knitwear takes lead as textile exports jump over 7pc in first half of fiscal year: PHMA
The Pakistan exports of textiles have witnessed an increase of 7.7 per cent in the lead of knitted garments and hosiery during the first half of the current fiscal year of 2021 as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) zonal chairman Faisal Mehboob Sheikh and chief coordinator Adil Butt said that the textile exports were recorded at $7.4 billion in Jul-Dec (2020-21) against the exports of $6.9 billion in Jul-Dec (2019-20), showing the growth of 7.7 per cent.
Faisal Mehboob Sheikh said that the textile commodities that contributed in positive trade growth included knitwear, exports of which increased from $1.5 billion last year to $1.8 billion during the current year, showing the growth of 16.5 per cent.
He said that it is good news that country’s exports have shown positive growth for the fourth consecutive month in December 2020, which is a vindication of the government’s policy to keep the wheels of economy running during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“PHMA extends congratulations to the commerce ministry and the whole nation for achieving record exports in December 2020. “Greetings also to all the hosiery exporters on achieving record exports in December 2020 with a growth of 18 per cent over the previous year, hoping the trend will continue with government full support to promote export culture.”
Faisal Mehboob Sheikh said that Pakistan's exports of knitwear and other knitted garments and hosiery always play the leading role in exports growth, as the industry continued to show its resilience to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, on a year-on-year basis, the textile exports increased by 22.7 per cent during the month of December 2020 as compared to the same month of last year. Exports during December 2020 were recorded at $1.4 billion against the exports of $1.1 billion. On a month-on-month basis, the exports from the country witnessed an increase of 9.2 per cent during December 2020 when compared to the exports of $1.2 billion in November 2020.
Based on the figures, the country’s trade deficit also increased by 6.4 per cent during the first half compared to the corresponding period of last year. The trade deficit during the first six months of the current fiscal year was recorded at $12.4 billion against the deficit of $11.6 billion last year, which needs to be controlled through further improvement in exports.
Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association chief coordinator Adil Butt observed that by showing comparatively well performance the value-added textile category has proved that it has been the main driver of growth in the country’s overall exports. He said the value-added sector achieved growth because of preferential access to the 28-nation European Union under the GSP+ scheme which can further be enhanced with the government’s support. He said that Pakistan direly needed to establish an Aggressive Marketing Plan for garment export to get maximum benefits of GSP-Plus status.
Adil Butt said that apparel sector can play a leading role in earning foreign exchange and boosting exports. He suggested the government to establish a task force, especially at a time when the Chinese garment industry, which has more than 30 per cent share of the world apparel market, is relocating. He added that a regional taskforce needed to be established to determine issues being confronted by the industry and then to suggest measures to ensure its viability and competitiveness in the international market. Adil Butt observed that the garment industry is less capital intensive, provides 4 times as many jobs for the same investment, uses less energy and adds more value.