According to Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) President Mian Usman Zulfiqar, focusing on brand creation in the textile business can result in higher export volumes, but sadly, traders in Pakistan do not pay attention to this element.

On Friday, he told a delegation from the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) that Pakistan’s fashion design and textile segments have emerged as key contributors to the national trade due to their export potential. He believed the two categories had enormous potential to capture a large piece of the international fashion business, which was worth billions of dollars.

“If it succeeds in gaining the attention of foreign buyers, Pakistan can capture a big piece of the global fashion industry,” he said.

Zulfiqar suggested that the government build five mega textile parks to enable the local textile industry compete on a worldwide scale. He emphasized that the government should make it mandatory for major spinning operations with more than 30,000 spindles to grow their own cotton for yarn production.

“Increasing the area under cotton cultivation and improving the cotton yield will not increase the country’s textile exports,” he stated.

He stated that the country’s textile sector was operating at full capacity, and that all major textile exporting nations, including Pakistan, were brimming with orders due to the disturbance in the supply chain of textile.

“We need to figure out a way to keep this trend going in the long run,” he said. “Pakistan is an agrarian country, and the textile sector, which contributes 8.5 percent to GDP and employs 40 percent of the workforce, is considered the backbone of the national economy.”

He said that the textile industry is also manufacturing artificial silk, which looks like genuine silk but costs less to produce, adding that the product was being produced on around 90,000 looms across the country. “The cloth produced by Pakistan is of superior quality than that produced by many other countries”, he added.

PBF Vice President Ahmad Jawad believes that brand building in the textile business is critical because it can help to soften Pakistan’s foreign image.

While talking to The Express Tribune he said that the lack of brand creation was restricting the country’s earnings, and that by focusing on branding, Pakistan could produce an additional $2 billion in exports.

“We have the capability, but we need to improve our marketing,” he remarked. “By branding merchandise that is largely manufactured in South Asian countries, European firms gain millions of dollars.”