‘Pakistan should look to CA for cotton’ | Pakistan Today

‘Pakistan should look to CA for cotton’

LAHORE – Pakistan should look to approach Central Asian (CA) states if India does not export one million cotton bales to Pakistan. Pakistan can touch exports of $70 billion if needs of the textile sector are properly addressed. This was stated during an interaction session between APTMA, Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) Chairman Tariq Puri and Federal Secretary Commerce Zafar Mehmood, held at the head office of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Saturday.
APTMA Chairman Gohar Ejaz lamented that Pakistan is likely to face shortage of around one million cotton bales, while the cotton crop ends by April 30. He asserted that Central Asian states, in possession of around two million cotton bales, should be approached if India does not give us cotton.
“The recent visit of Tajik government officials made me aware that they have more than one million cotton bales but they only export it through the government,” Gohar Ejaz said. He further stated that our consulates should be stimulated for negotiations on cotton import with CA states. Similarly, Western African countries also have cotton, which can be imported.
During a presentation on textile industry, Gohar Ejaz said that exports are projected to touch $14 billion. He grieved that the industry is suffering problems including shortage of energy and raw material, globally incompatible interest rates, market access issues and policy implementation gap. He said that the textile sector should be given priority when distributing gas and electricity – as the sector can fetch huge amounts of foreign exchange. “If textile is given priority on gas and electricity load management, export refinance at lower rates and relief in existing long term loans – the situation could help boost exports,” he added.
TDAP Chairman Tariq Puri stated that duty free access to European Union (EU) markets would improve exports. He expressed disbelief on Turkey’s opposition on Pakistan’s free market access to EU. “Turkey has free market access to EU but its products are very expensive compared to Pakistan, which is why, it is opposing Pakistan for getting free market access,” he added.
Federal Secretary for Commerce Zafar Mehmood said that Pakistan should take strict note of India’s resistance and dishonour of its cotton export agreements to Pakistan. He believed that Pakistan should stop onion export to India.
Zafar argued that new gas connections to domestic users should not be granted, as it causes gas shortages in the country. “During my tenure as Secretary Petroleum, i opposed giving new gas connections to domestic users,” he said. He added that local production of geysers and heaters should be stopped. “Locally produced heaters and other products waste huge amounts of gas,” he said. Giving example of Bangladesh, with free market access to EU, he said that EU is not the whole world and we should also look to explore other markets.

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