Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pakistan's Textile Industry Woes

Pakistan has a diverse economy that includes textiles, chemicals, leather products, food processing, financial services, telecommunications, retail, automobile manufacturing, light and heavy armaments, agriculture and other industries. It is the 45th largest economy in the world in terms of official exchange rates ($144b) and 25th largest based on purchasing power parity ($410b PPP). Its service sector accounts for more than half of its GDP.

Pakistan’s textile industry is a major contributor to the national economy in terms of exports and employment. Pakistan holds the distinction of being the world’s 4th largest producer of cotton as well as being the 3rd largest consumer of the same. In the period July 2007 - June 2008, textile exports were US$ 10.62 Billion and accounted for 55% of the total exports.

As the economies in the US and Europe slow down, Pakistan's key exports of textiles and leather products are experiencing a slowdown in growth as well. According to APTMA, textile exports have declined by about 20 percent in 2008. The industry is bracing for more trouble ahead with continuing crises of electricity and gas, international market access, global economic slow-down,and adverse travel advisories.

According to Pakistan textile industry association, 90 percent of Pakistan's textile industry is losing money losses and facing closure. More than two months of production has been lost due to power cuts and gas shortages.

APTMA, Pakistan's textile industry Association established for the promotion and protection of the textile industry, says that the high cost of finance because of the nation's tight monetary policy has added to their continuing woes.

In order to pave the way for the IMF bailout, Pakistan's central bank raised its bank lending rate in early November by 2 percentage points to 15 percent. Since 2004 interest rates have risen dramatically. Kibor (Karachi Inter-Bank Offered Rate) has surged 261 percent. Likewise, the bank spread, on a weighted average basis, rose from 2 percent to an excessive 7.75 percent. This size of bank spread is among the highest in the world. These high rates were allowed as a policy to restrict money supply to satisfy the IMF conditions.

Federal Textile Adviser Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig told the News that Pakistan has a very low share of the international textile market. China tops the US market with a share of 36 per cent followed by Bangladesh 21 per cent, India 18 per cent, Morocco 19 per cent and Pakistan 13 per cent. South Korea has lost 20 per cent of the US market.

In the European market, China tops again with a share of 29 per cent, Vietnam 28 per cent, India 19 per cent and Pakistan only 1.5 per cent while the Philippines had lost 11 per cent of the market.

European buyers have told Baig that Pakistani garment manufacturers could cut their cost up to 45 per cent in sewing by improving efficiency.

“Labor productivity is very low,” said Baig. “Our regional competitors take 75 minutes to complete and produce one piece of cloth whereas we take 133 minutes for the same work. We also waste 30 per cent in finishing and 12 per cent in washing.”

According to a study of Pakistani textile and apparel sector conducted by Werner International, management consultants to the world textile, apparel & fashion industry, some of the garment units were over-staffed by 57 per cent. That was an internal negative factor whereas external factors included no duty-free market access to the EU and negative image and perception of Pakistan abroad.

Baig has asked Werner to submit a proposal for presenting a better image of the textile industry to global brands for achieving collaboration with them. In response, Werner is working on a three-year plan to help Pakistan garment manufacturers.

While Pakistan clearly needs to diversify and increase higher-value-added exports such as sophisticated machinery and high technology products and services, it is essential for it to maintain and enhance the current export levels of textiles, leather and other products for which there is an established export market. The export-oriented industries should get preferential treatment in getting access to necessary inputs of raw materials, financing and energy by government policies. Energy and communications infrastructure, in particular, need much greater focus to enable Pakistani exporters to continue to earn the much-needed hard currency.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Textile Industry Report


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report in the News about declining exports of readymade garments:

The value added textile sector fears that export of readymade garments may decline by around $300 million owing to shortage of yarn in the local market.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Chairman Mohsin Ayub Mirza told The News that in the value added textile sector they sell their products 120 days in advance but due to shortage of yarn, no orders were received for February 2010.

He said that owing to shortage of yarn around 20 per cent fall in export of knitwear and 10 per cent in woven garments is feared. If the situation persists there would be a decline of around $100 million in export of woven garments, $140 million in knitwear and $60 million in towels.

Export of cotton and cotton yarn increased by more than 30 and 23 per cent respectively in September and October. Export of cotton cloth, bedwear, towel and tents also recorded a significant growth whereas export of knitwear and readymade clothes slightly decreased in this period.

Raw cotton recorded export of 25.72 million kilograms in October against 17.92 million kilograms in September while cotton yarn export increased to 73.36 million kilograms in October against 56.18 million kilograms in September.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Chairman Anwar Ahmed Tata said the spinning industry was facing shortage of raw cotton but they had never demanded a ban on export of cotton and it was expected that about one million bales or 8.5 per cent of total production of cotton would be exported this year.

He said that the government has earmarked more than 90 per cent out of the Rs40 billion incentive package in the textile policy for the value added sector.

The APTMA chairman demanded the government not to intervene and take any short-term measures because the consequences would not only hurt the spinning industry but also the value added sector and the whole economy.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman for Sindh-Balochistan Region M Yasin Siddik said it was time that our value added sector realised that Pakistan was not only competing on the basis of prices but also on the basis of quality, especially in products which were made from coarse counts yarn like denim, bed ware, cotton cloth and towels.

Pakistan Apparel Forum Chairman Jawed Bilwani demanding capping of yarn export said: “Our competing countries like India, Bangladesh, and China were also signatories of WTO, yet they were conscious of the importance of their value added textile sector and its exports and had been taking bold steps to protect this sector.”

India, WTO member since 1995, imposed quantitative capping of exports of cotton yarn from 1993 to 2002 besides imposing quotas on cotton yarn exports, Bilwani said.

Bangladesh, WTO member since 1995, slapped a ban on exports of jute on 7th December 2009 to protect the local spinners converting jute by way of value addition.

China, WTO member since 2005, increased export duties of 74 textile categories including Flax Single Yarn in 2005 and in addition to this it is giving subsidy in the form of 16 per cent export rebate for labour intensive textile and garment industries.

Bilwani said even Pakistan from 1988 to 1995 imposed export tax on raw cotton for development of cotton yarn industry. The aim was to reduce price of cotton fibre. The scheme was successful and from 1988 cotton export decreased substantially while production and export of yarn increased.

He said that now it is time to go one step forward to next level in value addition and impose restriction on exports of cotton yarn for development of the value added textile industries.

Production of cotton in the world is less than the last year except India, which has 3 million bales surplus than its requirement. Cotton price in the local market has increased by 31 percent to Rs4,500 per maund from Rs3,400 in two months only.

Riaz Haq said...

European textile firms are protesting EU trade concession for Pakistani textile imports to help Pakistan after the massive floods. Here's a Wall Street Journal story on it:

European Union trade concessions for flood-ravaged Pakistan have triggered a backlash among European manufacturers, led by an EU textile sector already imperiled by Chinese imports.

The tensions show how the economic downturn is increasing anxieties over trade to the point where even targeted humanitarian efforts to lower tariff barriers are called into question.

The European Commission, the EU's executive, Wednesday approved tariff waivers on 75 categories of imports from Pakistan for up to three years. The gesture followed an order by EU leaders eager to show they're helping some 10 million Pakistanis left without shelter after violent flooding this summer.

Pakistan isn't a big exporter to the EU, shipping only $4.2 billion worth of goods to the bloc last year. It ranked a distant 46th among EU trading partners, between the United Arab Emirates and Serbia.

However, more than 75% of those exports are textiles, clothing, leather or related products, and those goods will make up a majority of the roughly $140 million in total extra trade the EU says the deal will generate from eliminating the EU tariffs.

That's a problem for European textile manufacturers, mostly located in Europe's southern rim, from Portugal to Italy to Romania. Thousands of small shops and their workers have been getting crushed ever since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, partially opening up European textile markets. Some of these European economies are suffering slow growth because of the euro zone's debt problems.

Riaz Haq said...

After agriculture, textile sector is the second largest employer in India, according to :

The Textile Sector in India ranks next to Agriculture. Textile is one of India’s oldest industries and has a formidable presence in the national economy in as much as it contributes to about 14 per cent of manufacturing value-addition, accounts for around one-third of our gross export earnings and provides gainful employment to millions of people. The textile industry occupies a unique place in our country. One of the earliest to come into existence in India, it accounts for 14% of the total Industrial production, contributes to nearly 30% of the total exports and is the second largest employment generator after agriculture.

About 27% of India's foreign exchange earnings are on account of export of textiles and clothing alone. The textiles and clothing sector contributes about 14% to the industrial production and 3% to the gross domestic product of the country. Around 8% of the total excise revenue collection is contributed by the textile industry. So much so, the textile industry accounts for as large as 21% of the total employment generated in the economy. Around 35 million people are directly employed in the textile manufacturing activities. Indirect employment including the manpower engaged in agricultural based raw-material production like cotton and related trade and handling could be stated to be around another 60 million.

Here are excerpts from a NY Times report on how the situation is changing in Coimbatore, a big textile center in Tamil Nadu:

The clear losers of India’s currency approach right now are garment makers. From April to August, exports were down 6.4 percent from a year earlier in the $10 billion Indian clothing industry. Although it represents only about 1 percent of the nation’s economy, the garment industry is India’s largest employer after agriculture.

“All the other countries are protecting their currencies, so why are we not?” said Premal Udani, chairman of India’s Apparel Export Promotion Council.

Indian policy makers are eager enough for foreign investment that, for now at least, they are willing to endure the damage a stronger rupee inflicts on exports, especially for lower-value goods like clothes. Exports of other Indian goods and services, like software and pharmaceuticals, have not been as hard hit because they are not as price-sensitive.

India also places a premium on the higher-value jobs that are fueled by foreign investment. Not far from where that old textile mill once stood, the German engineering company Bosch and the American software concern Perot Systems have opened offices in a new technology park.

The influx of capital has helped fuel a nearly 9 percent annual growth rate for India’s economy. It has also powered the Indian stock market to near record highs. A big beneficiary of the stock rally has been the government, which is selling shares in state-owned firms like Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner.

The government, which has a large budget deficit, plans to raise $9 billion in the current fiscal year from share sales and spend the money on jobs for the rural poor and other welfare programs. A stronger rupee also reduces India’s bill for commodities, like oil, that it needs to import.

“If India is to sustain 8 percent growth or 9 percent growth, the only constraint on that can be capital,” said Nikhil Chaturvedi, managing director of Prozone, the Indian real estate firm that is building the Alliance Mall development. “Free flow of capital should be allowed in all sectors” of the economy, he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a 2009 SF Chronicle report about the impact of textile downturn in India:

Coimbatore, India — The trouble began far away from the leaky concrete house and stand of banana trees that Sakunthala Radhakrishnan calls home.

In 19 years as a textile worker in southern India, Radhakrishnan saved enough to buy gold jewelry. She sent money to her parents and fattened up her skinny daughter with fancy energy drinks. And she secured for her child a gift she herself never received: an English-language education.

But seven months ago, the better life her family was crawling toward got yanked out of reach. After the U.S. financial crisis erupted thousands of miles away, the textile factory where she and her husband worked closed because orders dried up and credit tightened.

"It's a distant dream since I lost my job," she said. "I suffer mental depression."

Radhakrishnan, 34, and her husband found new jobs as day laborers - she at a smaller textile factory and he as a welder. But their family income has plunged by nearly half, from $160 to $90 a month. Now they could lose their home and have to rely on the government for food.

For years, textile jobs helped tens of millions of Indians like Radhakrishnan clamber onto the bottom rungs of the nation's fast-expanding middle class. Textiles are India's second-largest source of employment, after agriculture, accounting for over 35 million jobs - far more than the 2.2 million in India's high-profile information technology sector.

Now, the global economic meltdown is pushing Radhakrishnan and many others back.

The IMF estimates that the slowdown has already driven more than 50 million people globally into extreme poverty. In India, slowing growth means at least three million people won't be lifted out of poverty this year, and some of the 200 million who live just above the official poverty line could slip below it, according to the U.N. Development Program.

Experts warn the social damage could be long-lasting, as parents scrimp on medical care and pull their children from school.

"This will affect a generation," said Ajay Chhibber, assistant secretary general of the U.N. Development Program in New York. "A girl who drops out of school will be an illiterate mother the rest of her life. ... You had a financial crisis. It's now become an economic crisis. The next phase of this in 2009 will be a social crisis."

Many in the textile belt of south India's Tamil Nadu state have seen their incomes roughly halved, to about $1.50 a day, as factories hit by declining exports and tight credit cut production, are forced to reduce payrolls and eventually close down. Distribution of government subsidized food in the area has shot up, and people are taking out loans and hocking jewelry to meet expenses.

India's public schools are notoriously poor, and many parents work hard to send their children to low-cost private schools that teach English. Now they are pulling them out, cutting off the next generation from what has been the surest ticket to a better life in India: the English language.

During the boom years, textile factories in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore region could not get enough workers. They sent buses to nearby villages, picking up workers for thrice-daily shifts. In 2005, mills began holding recruitment fairs hundreds of miles away, in Tamil Nadu's impoverished south. Laborers poured in from poor states like Bihar and Orissa. Even on $3 or $4 a day, many built houses and put their children in private English-language schools.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is seeking to lower US import tariffs on its textiles, according to Washington Post:

FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN - The United States has spent billions of aid dollars on Pakistan, but more than nine years after Islamabad joined the global fight against terrorism, the U.S. government remains unable to provide its strategic ally with one thing it really craves: easier access to the U.S. market for its T-shirts, towels and socks.

Pakistani leaders have long sought trade concessions from their U.S. counterparts in recognition of Pakistan's efforts to root out insurgent groups on its soil, but the calls for lower tariffs have intensified since this summer's floods, which displaced millions and destroyed much of the country's cotton crop.

Lifting tariffs on Pakistan's textile products would undoubtedly boost the country's economy. The textile sector employs nearly 40 percent of Pakistan's industrial labor force and accounts for 60 percent of its exports, and the United States is already one of Pakistan's biggest markets.


The House last year passed a narrowly focused bill designed to promote export industries in Afghanistan and specific zones primarily in Pakistan's northwestern border region, but a corresponding bill has been stalled in the Senate. Separately, the U.S. textile industry has made clear it would strongly oppose any legislation that is more ambitious than the bill being considered, saying it would put American jobs at risk.

Pakistani officials and business leaders say they understand that U.S. lawmakers have to answer to their constituencies, but they insist that increased bilateral trade would benefit both countries.

"We do not want aid. We want trade," said Salamat Ali, chairman of Tauseef Enterprises, a garment company based in this Punjab province city that is home to hundreds of thousands of textile workers and 300,000 power looms. "It's better for America and for other allies if Pakistan stabilizes."

Seeking a wider agreement

Pakistan typically exports about $10 billion of textile products each year, with about a quarter of that amount going to U.S. retailers. Waqar Masood Khan, secretary of the Textile Industry Ministry, said that if the United States and Europe lifted trade restrictions, it would result in a $3 billion increase in exports in the short term.

Pakistan succeeded recently in securing trade relief from the European Union, which agreed to waive tariffs on certain textile products from Pakistan for up to three years, starting in January. Pakistanis welcomed the concession but said the waivers, which exclude some finished goods, are unlikely to result in any significant increase in trade.


David Trumbull, vice president for international trade at the Boston-based National Textile Association, also said that too often it is the textile industry that has borne the brunt of U.S. trade concessions.

But Pakistani textile factory owners say substantial trade relief is essential at a time when their industry is facing all sorts of challenges.

Because of security concerns, prospective foreign buyers are reluctant to visit Pakistan. High cotton and polyester prices and general inflation have increased production costs significantly.

More crippling, though, are electricity and gas shortages. Some factory owners use more costly generators and wood furnaces to compensate, but many just choose to leave power looms idle and let workers go.

"The Christmas and New Year orders are coming now, and this is the time to ship them," said Waheed Khaliq Raamay, owner of a weaving factory in Faisalabad. "Because of the gas shortage, we are losing customers - and we are losing our faith as well."

Riaz Haq said...

With rising cotton and yarn prices, Pakistan has the potential to export $50 billion in textiles, according to a report in Gulf Today:

KARACHI: Pakistan has a potential of at least $50 billion in value-added textile exports if human resource in this sector is fully developed, said Textile Commissioner Muhammad Idrees.

Addressing the closing ceremony of 9th round of apparel manufacturing and management training programme at the Readymade Garments Technical Training Institute, the official said that the present volume of exports was not at all satisfactory.

The stakeholders could easily double this volume by improving skills of workers and through compliance with the standards of buyers, he added.

The skills development programme comprised one-month training, which covered cutting, sewing, production management, industrial engineering and quality control. Experts and consultants from Technopak, a world renowned consultancy firm, were hired for the training.

Thirty-one master trainers or middle management professionals from Artistic Milliners, Naz Textiles, Rajby Industries and Selimpex International and Soorty Enterprises attended the ninth round of training project.

The training project has so far been successfully implemented in 30 factories in Sindh and has trained 279 master trainers/middle management professionals and 3,693 workers.

The project delivered complete training system, course curriculum, manuals and consulting guidelines to the factories. Training manuals are also translated into Urdu language to transfer appropriate knowledge and skills to workers.

Pakistan’s textile sector is optimistic about meeting the annual export target, as high cotton prices in domestic and international markets have caused an increase in prices of value-added textile products, industry people say.

The government had fixed the textile export target at $14 billion for the current fiscal year. Members of the textile sector are of the view that achieving the target is possible, as exports of highly value-added items such as knitwear and garments have increased in terms of value.

Statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) show the textile sector has performed well in the first half (July to December) of the current fiscal year, as its exports increased by 25.79 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

The industry, however, believes they would need to import up to five million bales of cotton because the 11 million bales produced so far in the country will not meet the requirements as some of the crop has been destroyed by flood.

The industrialists also expressed reservations about gas shortage in the country that has already caused a huge loss to the industry, particularly in Punjab. All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Chairman Maqsood Ahmad Butt stressed that cotton prices reached Rs13,000 per maund (37.324 kg) and the sector may face a shortage of cotton in June if India did not lift the ban on exports.

“There is a possibility that exports will cross $14 billion target if cotton shortages are met and gas supply is restored,” he opined.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on Huntsman's investment in dye and chemicals plant in Pakistan:

Huntsman Textile Effects, a Singapore-based global provider of high-quality dyes and chemicals to the textile and related industries, has opened its 13th Formulation & Distribution Center, in Karachi, Pakistan.

The 43,000-square-foot facility boasts state-of-the-art equipment and new technology to bolster Huntsman TE’s competitiveness and presence in the Pakistan market. The center is located at the Landhi Industrial Area. Pakistan represents a fast-growing market of increasing importance for Huntsman TE and the launch of this facility strengthens the firm’s commitment to it.

“With the opening of our new, low-cost production facility for formulated chemicals in Karachi to meet increasing local demand, we will considerably increase our competitiveness and flexibility in textile chemicals in this key Asian textile market,” said Paul Hulme, president of Huntsman TE. “Our well-established partner, Swisstex, will continue to provide enhanced sales activities, enabling us to concentrate on all formulation and production aspects using our cutting-edge technology to develop innovative products and technologies, market solutions with intelligent effects to this growing market."

Huntsman specializes in products and technologies with intelligent effects, such as built-in freshness, sun protection or dyes to reduce water and energy consumption. It has operations in 110 countries. The company had 2010 revenues of more than $9 billion.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Times story on Karachi Textile Expo 2012:

The textile sector is likely to fetch more than $45 million export orders during three-day 9th Textile Asia 2012 International Exhibition, textile experts said Saturday.
During previous international event in 2011, Pakistan fetched more than $31 million worth of orders for different categories of textile products, they added.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Textile Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig inaugurated the 9th Textile Asia 2012 event at Karachi Expo Centre.
It is the largest annual textile and garment machinery show of textile industry of Pakistan.
This year more than 276 exhibitors from 39 countries representing 369 international brands are participating in the event.
Besides a large number of textile sector’s representatives along with 271 foreign delegates are attending the exhibition.
The demand for textiles in the world is around $18 trillion, which is likely to be increased by 6.5 percent. China is the leading textile exporter of the world’s total exports of $400 billion.
Export of China stands at $55 billion, Hong Kong $38 billion, Korea $35 billion, Taiwan $16 billion, and Indonesia and Pakistan $14 billion.
Pakistan has emerged as one of the major cotton textile product suppliers in the world market with a share of world yarn trade of about 30 percent and cotton fabric about 8.0 percent, having total export of $13.8 billion, which accounts for only 1.2 percent of the overall share. Out of this cotton fabric is 0.02 percent, made-ups 0.18 percent and garments is 0.15 percent.
Textile sector is the backbone of the country’s economy having 56 percent of total exports and 38 percent job creation in the manufacturing sector. Nearly all the world-renowned brands are manufactured in Pakistan keeping high standard of international quality and competitiveness.
Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of cotton yarn and cloth in the world after China, which is number one besides, Pakistan ranks second in export of yarn and third in export of cloth and fourth largest producer and consumer of raw cotton.
The textile sector in 2011 has registered an impressive growth of 38 percent and it was expected after European Union’s (EU) duty free export of 75 products from Pakistan out of which 65 are textile products, the sector would fetch more than $25 billion export target. The EU facility is initially for two years, extendable for third year after which Pakistan would quality for Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status to export duty free to EU as per revised criteria agreed with EU.\03\11\story_11-3-2012_pg5_12

Riaz Haq said...

Cotton availability in Pakistan rises 25% YoY, reports fiber2fashion:

There has been a substantial increase of more than 25 percent in arrival of cotton in Pakistan markets this season compared to last season.

Besides, there has also been a significant rise of 77 percent year-on-year in cotton exports from Pakistan this season.

Citing figures from Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), Mr. Muhammad Azam, Secretary-General and Chief Operating Officer of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), told fibre2fashion, “Compared to total arrivals of 11,502,408 cotton bales of 170 kg each during 2010-11 season up to March 1, 2011, a total of 14,378,962 bales have arrived in market this season up to March 1, 2012. Thus, there has been an increase of 2,876,534 bales or 25.01 percent over the previous season.”

Informing about the number of cotton bales pressed by various ginneries across Pakistan, he says, “Up to March 1, 2012, this season, 14,301,516 bales were pressed at various ginneries. In comparison, 11,467,821 bales were pressed during the same period in 2010-11 season. Thus, 2,833,695 bales or 24.71 percent more bales have been pressed this season.”

Talking about cotton exports, he says, “The exports have boomed 77.89 percent this season. Pakistan exported 920,706 bales up to March 1 this season, against exports of 517,567 bales registered during the same period last season. Thus, 403,139 more bales have been exported this season.”

“The textile mills in Pakistan have consumed only 17.68 percent or 1,871,840 more bales this season compared to previous season. Up to March 1, 2012, textile mills in Pakistan purchased 12,462,112 cotton bales, against their purchase of 10,590,272 bales during the same period in 2010-11 season,” he mentions.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Fiber2Fashion report on value-addition by Pakistani yarn spinners:

everal cotton spinning companies in Pakistan are investing in value-addition as well as in compact yarns to beat the economic downtrend and to survive.

The excessive power and gas shortages is also forcing the high power consuming spinning industry to go for innovative value-added products that consume less energy.

Mr. Abid Farooq, Managing Director of Ali Akbar Spinning Mills and former chairman of APTMA, told fibre2fashion, “A lot spinning units are investing hugely into compact spinning nowadays and every conventional non-compact spinning mill is investing some money in compact yarns.”

Explaining the reason, he says, “Pakistan has a certain share in world yarn market, which is not likely to increase in near future. There is too much competition and the spinners cannot increase their capacity to export as the yarn export market is limited.”

“On the other hand, there is still a lot of room for the value-added yarn products to get higher market share compared to yarn. So, that is one reason for several spinners diversifying into manufacturing of downstream products. They have invested in value-addition to get a greater share in the Chinese and the European markets,” he adds.

Pakistan is facing a huge shortage of power, electricity and gas, which prevents addition of new capacities in spinning industry. Spinning machines require a lot of energy, so spinners are moving into value-added areas that need less energy.

As Mr. Farooq says, “Making new investments for manufacturing of value-added downstream products is another form of survival for the Pakistan spinning industry because spinning in itself is a very competitive industry and it is very technical. So, most of the new investments are going into value-addition.”

Talking about the knitwear sector, he avers, “The knitwear sector is coming back to life from a very bad slump a few years ago. Several knitwear units that had closed down are being revived again. The increase in dyeing and finishing capacities is also helping the sector.”

Riaz Haq said...

Textile industry in Pakistan an open example of resistance economy

The textile industry in Pakistan is the largest manufacturing industry in the country and no doubt it is an explicit example of resistance economy.

For years, the textile sector has been the country’s backbone as it provides employment and export revenues.

The textile sector in Pakistan contributes 57% to the country’s exports. The textile industry is the second largest employment sector in Pakistan.

Pakistan is the 8th largest exporter of textile commodities in Asia and textile sector contributes 8.5% to the GDP of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that the exports of textile products posted a growth of 12.8 per cent year-on-year to $4.4 billion in 2017-18.

The total textile sector exports reached $7.72bn value-wise in July-January 2018 versus $7.2bn in the corresponding period of last year, reflecting an increase of 7.18 pc

In the 1950s, textile manufacturing emerged as a central part of Pakistan's industrialization, shortly following independence from the British rule in South Asia. In 1974, the Pakistan government established the Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan (CEC).

Between 1947 and 2000, the number of textile mills in Pakistan increased from 3 to 600. In the same time spindles increased from 177,000 to 805 million.

Cotton spinning is perhaps the most important segment in the Pakistan textile industry with 521 units installed and operational, says a report by IRNA news agency.

Synthetic fibers prepared with nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polyolefin dominate the market.

Three types of filament yarn are also produced in Pakistan. These are acetate rayon yarn, polyester filament yarn, and nylon filament yarn.

Textile products manufactured from wool are also famous across the country and they include woolen yarn, acrylic yarn, fabrics, shawls, blankets, and carpets.

Artificial silk is also produced in Pakistan. This fiber resembles silk but costs less to produce. There are about 90,000 looms in the country.

There are many famous clothing brands in Pakistan who use locally produced fabrics due to its high quality.

According to consumers the fabric produced in Pakistan is high in quality as compared to fabric produced in other countries.

In recent years, Pakistan has faced competition from regional players including Bangladesh, India and Vietnam.

Pakistan is currently facing a large-scale energy crisis. The government manages the deficit through daily power cuts (or blackouts). These power cuts have significantly impacted manufacturing industries in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Woven together, the rise and fall of southern Pakistan’s Banarsi sari

Banarsi silk was a luxurious hand-woven fabric once made in the city of Khairpur, in Sindh
No official data exists on the history of the industry and the stories are told by the weavers themselves
SINDH: At the Banarsi Silk Weavers’ Colony in the city of Khairpur, in Sindh, 47-year-old merchant Zafar Abbas Ansari was waiting, hoping for a few additional orders of silk Banarsi saris as Eid Al-Fitr approached.
The sari is a garment native to South Asia, where a long piece of cloth is wrapped elaborately around the body — usually in cotton or silk — and worn with a matching blouse.
Although the city does not make Banarsi any longer — it is now made in Karachi, more than 400 km away — customers still come to the city to purchase the fabric.
Inside the deserted 70-year-old market — once a bustling place — Zafar’s shop is among the last three Banarsi shops left. His family is one of the 40 weaver families who brought the industry to Khairpur when they migrated from India in 1952.
“It is almost two decades since Khairpur stopped producing Banarsi saris after the industry’s collapse. However, even today, the brand is popular among customers. They keep demanding Khairpur’s brand,” Zafar told Arab News.
In its heyday, Khairpur’s Banarsi sari was synonymous with luxury, with vendors supplying the fabric not only locally but also exporting to Pakistani families living in the UK and other European countries.
Inside Zafar’s shop, unstitched pieces of colorful saris — the blouse, the petticoat and main sari fabric — are displayed. The shop shows off different varieties of saris, including the traditional katan — a plain woven fabric with pure silk threads — chiffon, as well as synthetic fabrics.
“Banarsi sari has distinction and standing,” Zafar said proudly. “It is worn by royal families because of its grace and elegance. In some families it is an essential part of the bridal trousseau.”

The price of a sari depends upon its type. The most expensive sari fabric available in the Khairpur market currently is worth Rs45,000 ($300) a piece
Khairpur’s Banarsi Silk Weavers’ Colony is named after the city of Banaras in India (now Varanasi) because of the silk weavers who migrated from there.
There are no official records, and the story of the garment comes from the weavers themselves. They say the history of the Banaras sari industry in Khairpur is linked with Ghulam Saddiquah Begum — the wife of Khairpur state’s then ruler, Mir Ali Murad Khan Talpur of the Talpur dynasty.
Saddiquah Begum herself came from Bahawalpur state, and in 1949, the weavers said, during a visit to India’s Hyderabad Deccan, she offered Mohammed Yusuf Ansari — a sari trader from Banaras — the chance to start manufacturing in Khairpur.
She is said to have offered her state’s support for the establishment of the manufacturing units required.
In 1952, about 40 families of the Ansari clan migrated from Banaras to Khairpur and sari manufacturing began on handlooms. Later, the saris were exported to other countries.
Arab News could not independently verify this information.
According to Anjum Sajjad Ansari, grandson of Muhammad Yusuf Ansari and a representative of the Banarsi Silk Weavers’ Association Khairpur, at its peak there were 400 handlooms in Khairpur. Today, not a single handloom remains.
“At Khairpur’s Banarsi Silk Weavers Colony today there are 16 houses of traditional weavers. However only three are involved in this business of selling Karachi-made fabric,” Anjum said.
Like elsewhere, the Banarsi brand was associated with pure silk thread work. Initially, Khairpur used silk imported from China, but later the silk came from Punjab’s Changa Manga as Pakistan developed hatching silkworms and silk fiber producing factories.
The whole family engaged in the manufacturing process, including silk weaving, dyeing, warping, and reeling. It took between two to three days’ work to complete a single sari.