LAHORE: Pakistan’s footwear industry is in a position to increase its exports to $5 billion by 2027, said Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA) Chairman Mansoor Ehsan. We are hopeful that we will achieve this target by 2027, by adding more export markets like China,” he emphasised.

In an interview with Business Recorder, Ehsan said that footwear industry should focus on forming joint ventures with Chinese manufacturers in order to take advantage of the opportunity created by increasing labour wages in China.

Collaboration with Chinese shoemakers is expected to help the domestic industry access new technology and improve labour skills, as well as boost exports.

He said our industry wants to collaborate with Chinese manufacturers and establish joint ventures with them in the proposed economic zones to be created along the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This is because the move can help us boost exports and improve labour skills and productivity. He underlined that the industry was probably the only sector which had reduced its import share drastically in the past three years.

Mansoor Ehsan further said excellence would be ensured in all departments of the country’s footwear sector to ensure quality in shoe production and to compete at the global level. He vowed to develop horizontal and vertical linkages to support the sector.

PFMA chairman pledged to continue ongoing projects related to the footwear sector and asserted that efforts would be made for future progress and prosperity of the footwear sector.

“All the possible avenues will be explored for joint ventures with the international footwear companies besides focusing on the skill development of workers and managers for the collective good of the sector.” Ehsan apprised that steps would be put in place to engage government departments for an enabling environment to serve for the benefit of exporters, manufacturers, component supplies, large, medium and small industries of footwear along with mutual interest of small and medium sized enterprises.

While talking about the association, Ehsan said that since its inception in 1983, PFMA is an association dedicated to promoting and enhancing the growth and development of the footwear industry in Pakistan. He also said that the primary objective of the association is to facilitate association members in liaising with government bodies in enhancing productivity and skill development.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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