Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has expressed serious concern over the discontinuation of Pakistan pavilion at MAGIC Show in the United States.

The association has asked the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to continue its previous practice of adding this premier textile fair to its exhibitions calendar.

MAGIC is the most comprehensive fashion marketplace in the US, showcasing women’s and men’s apparel, footwear, accessories and sourcing resources from around the world. In a letter written to TDAP Chief Executive Arif Ahmed Khan, PRGMEA (North Zone) Chairman Sohail Sheikh pointed out that Pakistan’s value-added textile exporters had taken keen interest in the fashion marketplace of the US but they alone could not afford it due to its high participation cost.

He emphasised that there was a huge potential for exports of Pakistan-made garments, fashion fabrics, home textile fabrics, finished products and accessories to the US market. “If TDAP continues to offer subsidised booths in Pakistan pavilion at MAGIC Show, many Pakistani companies will be able to target the lucrative US textile import industry and bring large amounts of foreign exchange in Pakistan,” he said.

In the letter, Sheikh said the show fuelled the business of fashion by helping to facilitate connections between buyers and brands with outstanding services like retail concierge and matchmaking programmes, bridging relationships and strengthening connections. Additionally, retailers and buyers have opportunities to learn, network and conduct business with new and returning exhibiting brands, he added.

“Moreover, as the US-China trade war can lead to potential industrial growth and inflow of foreign investment into Pakistan, it offers an opportunity to Pakistan to boost its exports to the United States as well as revive the closed manufacturing capacity.”

He pointed out that Pakistan’s competitors including Bangladesh, India, China and Sri Lanka had continued to set-up their pavilions and exporters of these countries were participating in the mega textile event. “So, we should not miss this opportunity particularly at a time when we need to boost our foreign exchange reserves through a jump in exports.”

He said textile exports, from January to November 2019, stood at around $12 bn and was likely to reach just $13.5 bn by the end of December. This is the same export figure achieved in 2012-13, which is 2.5 times less than the textile exports of Bangladesh and Vietnam.