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News Clips 24 June, 2013

[ Textile, clothing exports up ]
[ Niaz's appointment welcomed ]
[ ‘Polish retailer to buy Pakistani products’ ]
[ China to open doors to Lanka’s apparel sector ]

Textile, clothing exports up   [ top ]

DAWN, Mubarak Zeb Khan, June 19, 2013
ISLAMABAD, June 20: Pakistan’s export of textile and clothing witnessed a six per cent growth during July-May period of the current fiscal year from a year ago.

In absolute terms, export proceeds of textile and clothing reached $11.931 billion as against $11.255bn over the corresponding period of last year, reflecting an increase of six per cent.

Overall increase in exports was the outcome of continued rise in export of these products since September 2012 owing to a slight surge in demand from key markets of Europe and US, suggested data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released on Thursday. On a monthly basis, export of textile and clothing witnessed a growth of 5.30pc in May over the corresponding month of last year. The overall growth is also driven by increase in exports to European market following preferential market on 75 products. The products, which accelerated the growth, are mainly driven by substantial increase in export proceeds of ready-made garments, towels and other low value products, such as cotton yarn and cotton cloth, but export of raw cotton witnessed a decline in May over the previous year.

The increase in export of textile and clothing sectors resulted in overall growth of exports of the country by 3.88pc to $22.321bn in July-May period this year as against $21.486bn in the corresponding period of last year.

A sector-wise analysis showed that export of ready-made garments went up by 12.58pc, knitwear 2.41pc, bed wear 2.1pc and towels 15.52pc in 11 months this year over the corresponding period of last year.

Export of low value-added products, such as cotton yarn was up by 24.86pc, cotton cloth 10.72pc, yarn other than cotton yarn 14.87pc, made-up articles 1.67pc and other textile material 27.50pc in July-May this year over same months last year. Industry sources said that consistent supply of gas to textile sector during the period produced the desired results. The growth in yarn and fabric exports was mainly because of improved energy supply. The full capacity utilisation of production caused growth in export of home textile – towels and bed-wear as well.

Statistics show that exports of raw cotton declined by 68pc, cotton carded 48.31pc, art and silk 27.10pc, respectively during the July-May period this year over last year.

Niaz's appointment welcomed   [ top ]

BUSINESS RECRODER, Recorder Report, June 20, 2013
Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association (PBEA) has welcomed the appointment of Qasim Niaz as secretary, ministry of commerce. Shabir Ahmed former chairman, PBEA in a statement issued here on Wednesday said: "this appointment is a living testimony of the prime minister and government's policy of choosing 'the right man' for the job."

Qasim Niaz brings with him relevant experience, clarity of thought and honesty of purpose which will provide the ministry with the much-needed leadership and direction to help boost Pakistan's exports, he said. He recalled the meritorious contribution of Niaz on various WTO issues during his tenure in the ministry.

During his term of duty in Brussels, he provided invaluable assistance to the ministry and the private sector in EU GSP-plus case and various trade remedy actions initiated by EU against Pakistan. His tireless efforts in successfully defending our positions are a matter of record and a source of pride for all. PBEA placed on record its gratitude to the government on this appointment and hoped that Qasim Niaz will continue to champion the cause of Pakistan's exports and will make private-partnership a vibrant reality.

‘Polish retailer to buy Pakistani products’    [ top ]

THE NEWS, Correspondent Report, June 21, 2013
LAHORE: Polish leading retailer, Biedronka Stores, has shown keen interest to buy Pakistani textile and agro-food products due to premium quality in the world at competitive rates.

The interest was shown by Pedro Silva, president Jeronimo Martins, and owner of Biedronka Stores, in a meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassador in Warsaw Murad Ali.

An official of the Commercial Wing of the Pakistani Embassy in Warsaw told The News that the meeting was held in pursuant to the economic focus of the government of Pakistan to tap the European markets, which have huge potential for Pakistani products. Zulfiqar Younas, Commercial Counsellor also attended the meeting.

Martins, owner of the largest retail store chain in Poland, have more than 2,100 retail outlets and an annual turnover of over 14 billion euros around the globe. Besides Poland, Martins have stores in Portugal and Colombia.

The ambassador briefed President Silva about the business focus of the newly-elected Pakistan government and invited Biedronka Stores to buy products from and invest in Pakistan.

During EURO 2012 Football Championship in Poland, Biedronka had already bought significant quantity of footballs from Pakistan and sold at their stores due to high quality and demand in the international markets. The official of the Commercial Wing said that Pakistani products are already getting increasingly popular in Poland and textiles, surgical goods, sports goods from Pakistan are popular among the Polish consumers.

The ambassador also invited Biedronka Stores to participate in the Expo Pakistan 2013, which will be held from September 26 in Karachi.

Silva thanked the ambassador for invitation to the Expo Pakistan 2013 and showed his positive inclination to participate in the event. He also showed keen interest to buy Pakistani products from textile and agro-food, especially towels, rice, mango and mandarins for its stores around the world.

He promised to keenly observe the enormous opportunities offered by the retail sector in Pakistan and keep the country in focus as and when they decide to further expand their businesses.

China to open doors to Lanka’s apparel sector    [ top ]

SUNDAY TIMES, Bandula Sirimanna, June 23, 2013
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is to get a big boost as the world’s largest textile producer, China is exploring possibilities of opening its huge domestic market to the island’s garment exports, an industry heavyweight said.

Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) M.P. Tuly Cooray told the Business Times that their umbrella body is to enter into an agreement with the China National Garment Association to allow access for Sri Lankan apparel industrialists to penetrate the Chinese domestic market and also set up joint ventures to produce internationally branded products for overseas markets.

A high-powered, 20-member delegation from the Chinese association visited Sri Lanka recently and held preliminary discussions towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enabling Chinese apparel makers and top global retailers to shift their orders to Sri Lanka due to the rising labour cost in that country, he revealed. He noted that they aim to get duty free access for apparel from Chinese authorities through another MOU recently signed between China and Sri Lanka to improve and strengthen bi-lateral economic relations between the two countries, particular on trade investment and tourism.

The JAAF has been advocating in the past two years for the need to negotiate market access instruments with new and emerging markets particularly with China as a priority market because of enormous potential it offers.

Although, China is also a top global exporter of apparel, China also imports apparel and in 2012 imports amounted to US $4 billion, he said.

“Our apparel industry which has evolved to be a mature international player is now a supplier to many leading brands and no longer supplies to the low end of the market,” he said.

Sri Lanka has carved out a niche market for itself and does not consider China to be a competitor as it aims to supply to higher end of market by manufacturing for Chinese local brands as well as exporting international brands through manufacturing bases in Sri Lanka, he added.

The vision of the industry is also to make Sri Lanka the apparel hub for Asia as Sri Lanka is no longer a basic manufacturer but a total solution provider with front and back end services to their clients, he revealed.

“Since China is switching over to the higher segment of the market and also the hi-tech industry, the country will need to import garment products. We should seize the opportunity to export our goods there,” he said.

“China has the world’s most complete industry chain, the most skilled workers and the most advanced production equipment, but they don’t have a world famous brand,” he said adding that “Sri Lankan apparel industrialists have already established links with world famous brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Next, Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Reebok, GAP and Banana Republic”.

Sri Lanka’s apparel exports to China were US $15 million in 2012. “With high level of GDP growth and rising per capita income the expanding middle class offers a lucrative market not only for foreign brands but also for Chinese local brands.