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LAHORE: The Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) on Tuesday appreciated the government for approving continuation of electricity and gas subsidy for export-oriented sectors to support the momentum of growth in exports during fiscal year 2021-22.

PHMA zonal chairman Faisal Mehboob Sheikh and chief coordinator Adil Butt, in a statement issued here on Tuesday, said that approval of Rs 68 billion for extension of concessional rates of electricity and RLNG was important for sustained increase in exports by providing energy at regionally competitive rates.

Faisal Mehboob Sheikh emphasized the need to keep incentivizing export-oriented sectors in order to take the exports to the next level, as the knitwear garments export have already surged by 36.57 percent during FY 2020-21 while Pakistan's overall exports have increased from $21.39 billion to $25.30 billion, up by 18.28 percent in which textile group shares the highest by 60.86 percent while knitwear tops with 25 percent.

PHMA chief coordinator 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 coronavirus pandemic.

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 Plus 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.

He 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.

He said that apparel sector can play leading role in earning foreign exchange and boosting exports.

He suggested the government to establish a taskforce, especially at a time when Chinese garment industry, which has more than 30 percent share of world apparel market, is relocating.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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