PAKISTAN’S 10 “biggest” textile and garments factories which are exporting worldwide have committed to supply textile and fabrics for Philippine garment exporters given the Philippines’s “unrivaled” access to key markets, according to the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport).
Philexport said Robert Young, Trustee for textile, yarn and fabric sector of Philexport, reported this following his participation in the Asean-Pakistan Business Opportunities Conference held in Lahore and Karachi, Pakistan in early August.
Young, who is also president of Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), said these factories have committed to supply “mainly 100 percent cotton sheets and denim” for the Philippine garment exporters.
He emphasized that “[these garment exporters] rely solely on imported materials as the Philippines has no such industry.”
The FOBAP president pointed out that Pakistan’s textile and fabrics cost 15 to 20 percent lower than those of other countries.
In fact, Young added, “Pakistan has an average lower production cost than countries like China, India and Vietnam, while offering the same high-quality fabrics due to its skilled workers and yarn quality, billed as the second-best quality cotton in the world.”
Meanwhile, Young said that with the Philippines’s present free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and other forthcoming FTAs and the recent economic reforms and the amended Foreign Investments Act, Philippine Consul General (in Karachi) Imran Yousuf and Economic Diplomatic officer Digna Khan both said they plan to pay a business visit soon.
RCEP is a regional trade agreement between the 10 Asean member states and five Asean FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. RCEP countries account for 30 percent of global gross domestic product and one-third of total inward foreign direct investment (FDI).
In an email to Young, Yousuf said Pakistan has already invested in various industries in the Philippines.
“[It is also] importing garments, textile, apparel manufacturing, as Other made textile articles, sets, worn clothing and worn textile articles, rags [amounting] at US$6.7 million in 2022,” he
He cited some Pakistani companies’ investments in the Philippines: TRG Philippines in Manila of TRG Pakistan Ltd., Getz Pharma Philippines of Getz Pharma Pakistan, and Royal Life Pharma, a joint venture in Batangas, Philippines from Pakistan.
Yousuf said the Philippines has “unrivaled access” to key markets such as the Asean, Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies, as well as Asia, Europe and the United States.
“The Philippines’ location is a critical entry point to over 600 million people in the ASEAN market and a natural gateway to the East Asian economies,” he said. “[It] is likewise placed at the crossroads of international shipping and airlines.”
Yousuf said Pakistan and the Philippines are among beneficiary countries of the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus program, and are also members of the World Trade Organization with all the privileges and protections it provides.