LAHORE: US Special Representative for Commercial & Business Affairs Dilawar Syed said on Monday that Pakistan had strong potential to grow in textile and other sectors and its exporters could easily benefit from the liberal economic policies followed by US.
He proposed APTMA (All Pakistan Textile Mills Association) leadership to focus on continuing engagements and dialogue with their American counterparts to upsurge trade volume and to get maximum benefit of economic partnership between both the countries.
Dilawar Syed along with a delegation visited APTMA House here. Chairman APTMA Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman APTMA Northern Zone Hamid Zaman, Khawaja Anis, Kamran Arshad, Asad Shafi, Ahmed Shafi and Secretary General APTMA North, Raza Baqir welcomed the delegation.
The visiting US diplomat expressed his pleasure on visiting APTMA and said that economic partnership between Pakistan and US was very crucial for US administration. He added textile was one of the five crucial pillars of American economic policy and offered great potential to Pakistani textile exporters.
He was optimistic that there were huge potential to expand bilateral commercial and economic ties. He expressed the hope that joining of new American ambassador in Pakistan and posting of large number of diplomats in American mission in Pakistan exclusively for economic relations would facilitate bilateral investment and economic growth. He looked forward to playing an active role to achieve that common goal.
Dilawar Syed pointed out that the US was keen to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan besides tapping the investment opportunities in different sectors like textile, renewable energy and agriculture. He was confident that with the huge investment in textile sector and after availing tremendous trade opportunities Pakistani textile exports would exceed $ 100 billion by end of the current decade.
He stressed on durable bilateral trade relations between the two countries, saying that it would be helpful in developing mutual confidence between the two sides. Both the countries had a long history of more than 70 years in terms of bilateral mutual cooperation in multiple fields to overcome many challenges in the past, he added.
Earlier, Chairman APTMA Abdul Rahim Nasir said the US was Pakistan’s largest trade partner with a total bilateral trade of US$ 7.
2 billion in 2020-21. According to him, total exports of Pakistan to the US stood at $4.8 billion against total imports of $2.4 billion from the US. He added that textile exports from Pakistan to US fetched more than $3 billion during the last financial year. The USA was the largest source of foreign direct investment in Pakistan coupled with remittance of US$ 2.7 billion from USA to Pakistan, he added.
While suggesting the way forward, Chairman APTMA stressed on duty-free access for Pakistani exports to the US to reduce poverty and unemployment and to extend GSP Plus like access to Pakistan as already extended by European Union.
He pointed out that Pakistan had fully complied with 27 international conventions relating to human rights, child labor, gender rights, labor rights, environment, narcotics and corruption control etc.
He also emphasized on early finalization of Pakistan US FTA/PTA besides promotion of US cotton linkages with Pakistan’s textile industry.
Rahim Nasir further proposed holding of road shows on Pakistani textile industry in the US to promote exports. He stressed the need for exchanging business delegations to identify trade and investment opportunities.
He also urged the visiting delegation for technology transfer to Pakistan for high yielding cotton seed resistant to pests and virus. Also, he sought synergies with the US Cotton research institutes for better quality and extra-long staple cotton.
In addition, he said, capacity building of the agricultural research institutions in Pakistan through training on contamination free cotton production and establish joint venture with Pakistani partners and training on labeling of cotton bales with trash content, moisture and weight will help to boost bilateral trade in future.
Talking on this occasion, Hamid Zaman, Chairman APTMA North said that the textile sector alone represented 46% of total manufacturing sector and around 40% of total labour force. He added that performance of textile exports was highly commendable despite post Covid negative impact and it was encouraging to note that the value added sector in textile had shown unprecedented growth.
Zaman extended a vote of thanks to the visiting delegation at the end of the meeting and expressed the confidence that the visit of the delegation would help boosting mutual trade cooperation between both the countries.