KARACHI: The value-added textile sector is cynical about the prospects of any increase in exports unless the cost of doing business is brought at par with other countries in the region and the billions of rupees stuck up against refunds are not paid at the earliest.
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association central chairman Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq said that the government has set an export target of $35 billion to be achieved over the next three years (2015-18) under the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF).
He questioned how it was possible to achieve such an ambitious target when there had been a persistent decline in exports — the highest fall in the last 32 years. The major factor for the decline in exports, he said, was the high cost of doing business based on high utility rates, particularly of energy costs, as compared to our regional countries.
Shabir Ahmed, the chairman of Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association, said that if the government was not keen on resolving exporters’ problems, it should stop fixing high export targets and announcing policies like the STPF.