Pakistan’s textile sector has seen a decline in exports, with September’s exports amounting to $1.35 billion compared to $1.53 billion in the same month last year. This represents a 12% year-on-year drop, according to data from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). Overall textile exports for the first nine months of 2023 have decreased by 18% to $11.90 billion, compared to $14.53 billion in the same period in 2022. Textile exports are crucial for Pakistan’s economy, and the decline is worrisome as the country already faces a shortage of foreign exchange. On a monthly basis, textile exports have also fallen by nearly 8% compared to August’s figure of $1.46 billion. While the State Bank of Pakistan’s forex reserves have improved to $7.67 billion due to inflows from the IMF, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, reserves are still under pressure due to external debt servicing. However, Minister for Commerce Dr Gohar Ejaz remains optimistic about the industry, highlighting the increase in cotton arrivals as a positive sign for Pakistan’s textile sector.
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