Textile sector can earn additional $3 billion by building brands

February 03, 2023

Raza Khan

Pakistan can earn $2 to $3 billion additional return in textile exports by focusing on brand building, according to the Ministry of Commerce estimates. “The focus on brand building in the textile industry can fetch better export volumes,” said Dr Ahmed Mijtaba Memon, Special Secretary of Commerce, while briefing the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce.

He said Pakistan’s textile sector has emerged as an important contributor to the national trade because of its potential and production. Dr Mujtaba said the textile sector possess tremendous potential to secure a considerable share in the international fashion market valued at billions of dollars.

“Pakistan can grab a significant share in the global fashion industry if it succeeds in attracting foreign buyers,” he said, adding that exporters must focus on branding to grab the market. Dr Mujtaba said that brand building in the textile sector is direly needed to attract foreign investment. “Lack of brand building is limiting revenues of the country,” he maintained, adding that Pakistan is lagging behind in terms of real return on textile exports due to ineffective marketing and absence of brands.

“European companies earn millions of dollars by branding merchandise that is mostly manufactured in South Asian countries,” he pointed out. The official reiterated that strong brands could boost attractiveness of Pakistani products in the international market while getting higher prices. “Branding can promote Pakistani flavour in the international market and help secure maximum orders, which can augment the export value of readymade garments,” he said.

The quality of fabric produced by Pakistan is better than many other countries, he emphasised. Syed Hamid Ali, Additional Secretary of Commerce, told the committee that various studies suggest that consumers are influenced 25% by price and packaging, and 25% by communication and promotions. The quality of a product, positioning, availability and origin each has a 12.5% impact on consumers, he added.

“That means consumers are influenced more by branding and marketing than the quality of the product,” he pointed out. The official said that Pakistan’s textile sector lacks effective links between research organisations and industry to develop new products. “The lack of research and development in various value-added chains of textile sector has resulted in a low value-added return for exporters,” Hamid said.

“Production of less value-added products affects the bottom line of the sector,” he added. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Commerce directed the Ministry of Commerce to take early action for removing the obstacles to optimise the textile industry on a global level.

According to Textiles and Apparel Policy 2020-25, as branding the product requires long-term investment, therefore, the government will develop branding and acquisition fund to provide long-term financing. Pakistan achieved its highest ever textile exports of $19.4 billion during the last fiscal year 2021-22.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk