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FTA-II With China To Be Operational From Dec 1, 2019: Dawood

Addressing 35th IAF-PRGMEA World Fashion Convention, PM Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood says garments has potential to grow by 10 times

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LAHORE– Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Investment, Industries and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said the second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China is going to be operational from Dec 01.

It will help Pakistan come at par with the ASEAN nations in Chinese market, providing a huge opportunity of tariff relaxation to the manufacturers especially the garments sector to enhance their export volume with the potential to grow by 20 times, he added.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the 35th IAF-PRGMEA World Fashion Convention, Dawood pointed out that garment exports are on upward trajectory due to additional market access secured by the current government.

The historical fashion convention was organised by Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) in collaboration with the International Apparel Federation (IAF).

IAF President Mr. Han Bekke, PRGMEA chief coordinator Ijaz Khokhar, PRGMEA North Zone chairman Sohail Afzal Sheikh also addressed the ceremony.

Abdul Razaq Dawood appreciated the efforts of PRGMEA to bring the 35th World Fashion Convention to Pakistan first time in the history of Pakistan.

“I welcome IAF President Mr. Han Bekke to chose Pakistan this year to hold this important event in Lahore and appreciate the struggle of PRGMEA chief coordinator Ijaz Khokhar to make this event a very successful,” the advisor added.

Referring to the lowering exports of yarn and fabrics, he said that this is good for Pakistan, as it would provide the opportunity to our textile sector for more focus on value-addition.

The commerce & textile advisor said after the World Fashion Convention in Pakistan the economy of the country would be more integrated to the global economy and this linkage would bring foreign investment to the country.

Razak Dawood said the convention will prove to be an unprecedented positive event in the country’s business environment, which would enhance the overall image of the country at world level and help promote investment to the country.

“Government’s major economic agenda is to increase country’s exports, which would strengthen the economy by overcoming trade and current account deficit,” the advisor said.

He said that Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Phase-II, is going to facilitate the access of 313 top export items in potential Chinese market. After this agreement, all the major exports of the country especially value-added textile items have been getting better excess into Chinese market.

Now China has provided Pakistan an opportunity to export chemicals and engineering goods as well, as the government wants to take export to the highest level ever through business-friendly policies. He said the government is taking different measures for export enhancement including reclaiming traditional markets besides getting access to the new markets.

Abdul Razak Dawood said that the Chinese companies have started construction work in Lahore and Faisalabad to explore business in textile sectors. He said that these companies have started locating business centers in different parts of the country.

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) President Mr. Han Bekke while addressing the cremony, observed that IAF is the only global federation, which represents apparel associations from 60 countries, having overall membership of more than 150,000 companies.

He said that Pakistan is also the member of IAF and its regional office was also setup in the office of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association in Sialkot. He said that the theme of the 35th edition of this well-established global apparel Convention is “Collaborative growth with sustainability for all”.

Mr. Han Bekke said that the IAF is a global platform uniting apparel buyers with manufacturers and this crucial relationship is at the heart of the conference, as ‘we focus on growing together’. He said that Convention has gathered apparel industry leaders from across the world and provides a unique opportunity for Pakistani apparel industry to learn new techniques.

IAF regional president and PRGMEA Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that one of the world’s largest Apparel Fashion Convention was aimed at opening new avenues for the domestic garment industry to collaborate with the international buyers and leading global brands.

He said that the event has been attended by world class speakers, offering global network opportunities during the conference.

He said that World Fashion Convention is held every year in one of the member countries. Ijaz Khokhar said that Russia and Bangladesh had also applied for the 35th Convention. However, Pakistan has won the convention bid with full struggle and proper presentation.

“In the world class convention, there is a detailed presentation on Pakistan and apparel industry for creating awareness about the potential of Pakistan as production hub of textile items especially garments,” he added.

PRGMEA North Zone Chairman Sohail Afzal Sheikh stated that the mega convention provides an opportunity to its participants to discuss issues being faced by the global industry and also to network at a global level.

Sohail Afzal Sheikh said that the Convention is being held at a time when the world population is set to cross the next billion. Provision of clothing to the burgeoning population in sustainable manner is going to be a huge challenge.

Highlighting the salient features of world fashion convention, he said that mega fashion show helps in presenting softer image of Pakistan abroad, and delegates from 45 countries have attended this mega event.— PRESS RELEASE