Do you Know how early action helped Pakistan boost exports during COVID-19 pandemic

(Asad Zaidi/Bloomberg)

Pakistan’s decision to loosen pandemic regulations early has helped the country’s exports emerge more robust than its South Asian peers, a renowned business newspaper reported on Saturday.


According to a recent report by Bloomberg, outbound shipments have expanded at a faster pace than India and Bangladesh as textiles, which account for half of the total export, led the recovery.

The country saw total shipments grow 7% in September, compared with New Delhi’s 6% and Dhaka’s 3%.

The report stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration was the first in the region to ease pandemic restrictions, enabling export units to reopen in April, a month after locking them down to stem the spread of Covid-19. This helped draw various companies from the South Asian nation.

“Pakistan has seen orders shifting from multiple states including India, China, and Bangladesh,” the report quoted All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Secretary-General Shahid Sattar as having said.

“Garment manufacturers are operating at uttermost capacity, and many cannot take any orders for the next six months.”

Even as lockdown curbs disrupted trade in Bangladesh and India for at least two months beginning late March, Pakistan was already making personal protective gear and face masks for export.


The South Asian country also gained some orders from companies looking to diversify their supply chains amid the trade clash between the U.S. and China, the world’s top textile exporter, despite factories there reopening as early as April.

“This conflict between the two giants has given us fresh opportunities in polyester-cotton products,” the report quoted the country’s largest textile maker, Nishat Mill’s Garment & Home Textile Operations Chief Khalid Mehmood having said.

“Thus, there is a six-month slot for Pakistan now to capture the greatest number of customers who were China-based.”

Executives from Interloop Ltd. and Nishat Mills, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of socks that counts Adidas AG and Nike Inc. among its clients, said they had seen some orders diverted to them from China.

Meanwhile, Gadoon Textile Mills Ltd. (GTML) received orders redirected from Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest apparel exporter, and India, the third-largest textile exporter.

“The orders we were exporting to the U.S. and Europe have not recovered,” GTML Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Muhammad Imran Moten explained during an analyst briefing. “Yet the diversion of orders from Bangladesh and China is the compensating factor.”

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