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LAHORE: The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LUMS and GC University Lahore to join hands for sustainable textile industry growth through fortifying industry-academia linkages, keeping the local industry competitive in the international market by establishing missing links and identifying weaknesses and strengths.

The MoU with GC University was signed for Carbon Forestry Project, marking the beginning of the true industry-academia partnership aimed at fostering growth and innovation in the garment industry of Pakistan.

Both sides stressed the need for putting in place effective measures to fill the industry-academia linkage gap.

PRGMEA Central Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt said that the MoU signing ceremony served as a momentous occasion, bringing together esteemed representatives from both PRGMEA and GC University to solidify a mutual commitment towards advancing the industry’s development and work on de-carbonization through A-forestation and reforestation and other methods to create urban forest and vertical forest in Lahore and its suburbs.

This partnership will open doors for valuable knowledge exchange, research collaboration, and the exploration of new avenues for growth, he added.

PRGMEA North Zone Chairman Waseem Akhtar Khan observed that the MoU signing with the LUMS marked an important milestone in fostering collaboration and synergy between PRGMEA and LUMS, with an ultimate objective of advancing garments industry in Pakistan.

Waseem Akhtar Khan stated that the MoU ceremony brought together esteemed members, industry professionals, academics, and experts, creating an environment of knowledge exchange and innovation.

This partnership between PRGMEA and LUMS brought together expertise, resources, and a shared vision for innovation and sustainable development, he added. “By joining forces, we aim to bridge the gap between theory and practice, drive research and development, and equip the industry with the knowledge and skills required for future success,” he said.

He added that budget for education and the research work was very low and needed to be enhanced, saying the most of the grants to the universities went towards salaries and no sufficient funds remained available for the research work. He pointed out that there was a gap of industry-academia linkage which needed to be filled, adding that a curriculum should be designed to bridge this gap.

Meanwhile, PRGMEA and GC University also organized a seminar, focusing on exploring the importance and relevance of Carbon Sink Forests in achieving the goal of Net Zero emissions. This seminar was aimed at creating awareness and fostering discussion on how the garment industry can actively contribute to mitigating climate change through sustainable practices.

PRGMEA Central Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt said that this seminar was instrumental in shaping the dialogue and fostering collaborative efforts towards achieving Net Zero emissions.

He said that value-added textile industry recognized the significance of addressing environmental challenges and embracing sustainable solutions. The concept of Carbon Sink Forests, also known as carbon sequestration forests, offers a powerful approach in offsetting carbon emissions and restoring ecological balance.

The speakers in the seminar delved into the role of Carbon Sink Forests and their potential impact on achieving Net Zero emissions. The speakers, who were experts in the field of climate change, sustainability, and forestry, shared their insights and experiences.

The participants of the seminar said that there should be a syllabus as per the requirement of the industry and the industrialists should be given representation in the boards of universities so that they could play their role to bring industry and academia closer. They said that the industry-academia linkages in Pakistan were still very weak as compared to the advanced countries, as the universities were still focusing just on basic research instead of applied research. They said that lack of research was the basic problem which was one of the major hurdles in economic growth.

The sessions also included informative presentations, panel discussions, and Q&A session for meaningful engagement among participants.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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