KARACHI: A total of $245 million worth of business deals with Pakistani textile and apparel companies was sealed at the 19th international Textile Asia exhibition that ended on Thursday, organizers told Arab News.
Most of the business deals were done by Chinese companies. “Chinese companies participated in large numbers and they made deals worth $200 million,” Dr. Khursheed Nizam, president of the organizing company Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan, told Arab News.
More than 450 companies showcased 650 products at the exhibition. Exhibitors from Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Vietnam, Turkmenistan and Portugal exhibited their products. “We witnessed 75,000 trade visits during the course of the exhibition,” Dr. Nizam said.
Many Chinese companies had expressed their willingness to relocate textile factories to Pakistan, Dr. Nizam said. “The Chinese are planning to move with the latest technology and skills by making joint ventures with local companies.”
The presence of Chinese companies in Pakistan is increasing following the initiation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This year Zhejiang province was the most prominent exhibitor with 150 companies displaying their products.
Li Yang, vice division director, Department of Commerce, Zhejiang province, said that the economy of the province was about $1 trillion. “CPEC is the true reflection of the friendship between the China and Pakistan,” she said.
Another Chinese exhibitor, Cara Chai, said that she was happy with the response her company had from participants and visitors and expressed her desire to return to Pakistan.
European companies also displayed high-tech textile machinery at the exhibition. “We are displaying high-quality threads for denim. We have successfully achieved business deals with local manufacturers,” Vitor Teixeira, a Portuguese representative of Crafil Private, told Arab News.
Teixeira, who is in Pakistan for the second time, said that he was optimistic about the economy of Pakistan. “I expect that within the next years Pakistan will be a strong economy,” he said. “In future we will look into setting up a manufacturing unit in Pakistan.”
While negative perceptions about Pakistan existed on social media, it was a peaceful country and “I found the people very friendly” he said.
Indian textile machines were also displayed at the exhibition through Pakistani representatives.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Pakistan’s Federal Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha, who said that exports would reach $23 billion during the current fiscal year. “The high cost of business is a major hurdle in improving exports and local textile products are unable to match the quality of regional economies,” he said.
Dagha said that the government was considering reducing gas and water tariffs to lower production costs and make local companies competitive in the international market.