Pakistan’s Textile Exports Face Challenges in 2022-23, Amidst Global Economic Slowdown and Internal Unrest

Pakistan’s once-booming textile and garment industry experienced a setback in fiscal year 2022-23, with the country’s ministry of commerce reporting a notable 14.63 per cent decline in exports. The figures revealed that the sector earned $16.501 billion during the period, compared to $19.329 billion the previous year, attributing the decline to the global economic slowdown and internal political unrest.

With textiles contributing a significant 59.50 per cent to Pakistan’s total goods exports of $27.734 billion, the recent decline has raised concerns among industry stakeholders. Major supplier countries, including Pakistan, have faced headwinds due to the global economic slowdown, adversely affecting textile exports.

Moreover, the internal political unrest within the country further exacerbated the challenges faced by the textile and garment industry. Disruptions to economic activities caused by the unrest contributed to the downturn in exports, making it a complex situation for policymakers and industry leaders to navigate.

Category-wise, knitwear exports took a hard hit, experiencing a substantial 21.10 per cent year-on-year decline to $4,436.78 million. Additionally, non-knit readymade garment exports saw a decrease of 10.57 per cent, amounting to $3,491.95 million. These numbers indicate the difficulties faced by Pakistan in maintaining its foothold in the global apparel market.

The textile segment also experienced significant declines. Cotton yarn exports registered a sharp 30.04 per cent decrease, reaching $844.24 million, while cotton fabric exports fell by 17.06 per cent to $2,022.00 million during the July-June 2023 period. Bedwear exports, another vital component of the textile industry, declined by 18.26 per cent to $2,691.65 million.

Notably, imports of synthetic fibers and synthetic and artificial silk yarn also witnessed declines, decreasing by 34.77 per cent and 33.65 per cent, respectively. This suggests a decrease in demand for raw materials within the domestic market.

Adding to the concerns, the value of textile machinery imports plunged by a staggering 57.03 per cent year-on-year to $328.62 million. The decline in new investments in textile machinery indicates cautious industry sentiments and reflects the challenges faced by manufacturers in expanding production capacity.

As the dust settles on a challenging fiscal year, industry experts are keeping a close eye on how the government and private sector will respond to revitalize the textile and garment sector. The need for concerted efforts to address both internal and external factors impacting the industry’s performance has become evident.

Amidst these challenges, stakeholders in Pakistan’s textile industry remain resilient and determined to bounce back stronger. Government initiatives to stabilize the political situation and boost economic activities, coupled with efforts to explore new markets and expand product ranges, could play a pivotal role in revitalizing the textile and garment exports in the future.

Despite the current dip in exports, Pakistan’s textile industry has a rich history of resilience and adaptability. As the country navigates through these trying times, it is hoped that this vital sector will once again thrive and contribute significantly to Pakistan’s economic growth in the years to come.



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