Ijaz Khokhar hosts reception for Zubair Motiwala
ISLAMABAD: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan CEO Zubair Motiwala has stressed the need for more value-addition and exploring new markets in textile exports, besides focusing the Research and Development (R&D) to enhance the productivity and quality of the products.
Addressing a reception hosted in his honor by the PRGMEA former chairman Ijaz A Khokhar, the TDAP Chief said that there is a need to search non-traditional markets, as there are multiple opportunities in the growing economies of African countries since China and India have already focused on these regions.
The meeting was attended and addressed by TDAP Secretary Dr. Fareed Iqbal while Customs Collector Saima Aftab was also present along with the all stakeholders of SMEs hub of Sialkot, who are doing the highest value-addition in their business, including SCCI, PRGMEA, PHMA, Surgical, Sports goods, Glove and Leather Garments Associations. The heads of Sialkot Dry port, Tannery Zone and Air Sial were among the major participants of the high-level meeting.
The TDAP CEO agreed with the views of the stakeholders and ensured them of resolving their issues, terming them one of the most crucial matters faced by the exporters of this great SMEs hub of the country.
Zubair Motiwala observed that the value-added textile exporters are front row soldiers of the economy and despite multiple challenges they are earning billions of dollars foreign exchange for the country. He appreciated the efforts of the Sialkot-based industry and said that they have made the highest value addition through R&D to improve the productivity and quality of the products.
Zubair Motiwala said that the economy is facing a very tough time and cost of doing business is increasing day by day. At the TDAP, we are ready to facilitate trade and industry to increase the country’s exports, he added. He said that with an improved supply chain, industry can reduce their cost of business.
On the occasion, IAF Chief and PRGMEA ex-chairman Ijaz A Khokhar highlighted the issues being faced by the industry particularly exporters and asked for the long-term economic policies with the consultation of all stakeholders to ensure the stability.
Inviting the attention of the Central Bank, he said that currently State Bank has allowed the travellers to carry only $5,000, which is not sufficient for two-week travel and needs to be enhanced to at least $10,000 as hoteling and transportation costs have gone up due to soaring inflation.
He asked the FBR to ensure sales tax refunds within two weeks, because no Industry can be survived on loans of extremely high interest. “Ideally speaking, the government should restart the zero-rated policy to enhance exports, which is presently declining sharply,” he added.
He said that higher interest rates have badly hurt the cash flows of the industry and it should be reduced to facilitate the industry, as the exporters especially of Sialkot businessmen are facing severe liquidity crunch.
He said that continuous fluctuation in exchange rate has made it difficult to quote to foreign buyers and this is the major issue, which make reluctant to buyers, because nobody can quote rightly for future orders. “Industry wants Dollar rate may be fixed for at least 3-months.”
Suggesting measures for enhancement in exports, the PRGMEA former chief called for aggressive marketing strategy in line with the strategies of our competitors, by appointing Honorary Council General in all Europeans countries, which will cost nothing.
He also proposed to launch a regional task force of TDAP with all stakeholders taking on board and meeting on regular basis, so that the government officials could get ground realities from all sectors all across the country, appealing TDAP CEO to hold quarterly meeting with Sialkot business community during his visit to Lahore.
Ijaz Khokhar asked the government to implement the Textile and Apparel policy of 2020-2025 on priority. He added that the TEXPO should be organized in Dubai on the patron of other competitor countries of the region with a view to escalate exports.
The PRGMEA leader suggested the TDAP CEO to sponsor a ‘Made in Sialkot’ product exhibition in Islamabad to get liaison with the foreign mission, besides establishing EXPO center in Sialkot, which is already approved by the Former Minister of commerce to facilitate to the business community of Sialkot, Gujranwala and Gujrat.
He added that the participation of exhibitors is need to be enlarged to fetch more business, because currently our exhibitors are about 10% compared to our regional competitors like Bangladesh and India, who are grabbing much more business in exhibitions due to high participation.
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