Textile exporters seek govt help to establish their brands internationallyBreaking

February 23, 2024

Zia Ahmed, a textile exporter for over two decades, is yet to establish his brand internationally despite all-out efforts. The textile sector is the mainstay of the national economy, fetching billions of dollars in exports and ensuring jobs for millions of people. The sector makes products for scores of international brands. However, Pakistani exporters have failed to establish their own identity internationally. Talking to WealthPK, Zia Ahmed said scores of factors were involved in launching a brand, which was a daunting task for an individual. He said the upcoming government must launch a study to ascertain the challenges the Pakistani exporters faced in international branding of their products. "The exporters are trying their level best to introduce their products internationally, but to no avail due to various factors like lack of support from the government, ignorance about the international laws and demands of consumers," he added. Another exporter, who just gave his name Ahmed, told WealthPK that he had launched his brand in a Muslim country on his own as no help came to him from relevant quarters. Everything was going fine for him, but he had to face an adverse situation due to the change of political scenario in Pakistan a couple of years ago.

"Till today, I am trying to get out of the crisis that nearly ruined my entire business and now I am working only to keep my machinery running so I can repay the hefty loans," he said. Acting President of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Sajjad Anwar said despite the rich cultural heritage and diverse range of products, they were unable to gain recognition internationally for Pakistani products. "Our exporters have to compete with established global brands, which is not possible for them without the backing of the government," he said. He said in recent years, Pakistani exporters had encountered significant challenges due to the high cost of doing business. "Amid such circumstances, nobody could run business smoothly, let alone think about launching a brand internationally." Asad Ali, a towel exporter, said Pakistani exporters faced stiff competition from established brands in other countries whenever they tried to launch their own brands. "Without the backing of the government, we will not be in a position to get recognition internally as independent brands. Chinese brands are gaining popularity in the world due to the official support. We have to learn from the Chinese economic model to introduce Pakistani brands internationally," Ali suggested. Muhammad Ali, another exporter of textile products, said internationally consumers were using the Pakistani brands but with labels of established brands as they were unfamiliar with Pakistani products.

"This situation is making it difficult for Pakistani exporters to penetrate in international markets with their own names." "The government must organise special exhibitions in selected countries and apprise visitors about the potential of the Pakistani products. Without a proper awareness campaign, we cannot introduce our brands internationally. It's a brand which earns a handsome amount for any business organisation," he claimed. Currently, he said, "Pakistani exporters are working as mere employees of foreign buyers. Despite being manufacturers, they are compelled to follow instructions of their buyers. We have been operating in this manner for decades. One may ask the authorities as to how many international brands Pakistan actually has," he questioned. "Without recognition of our products, we cannot increase the much-needed foreign exchange and businesses of exporters," he said, adding exporters could not afford the extensive marketing and distribution budgets required for launching brands. "I can guarantee you that through investment in marketing, distribution, strategic planning and support from the government, Pakistani exporters can attract international consumers with their exceptional products," Zia Ahmed, the textile exporter, said.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)