LAHORE - The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Chief Executive, S.M. Muneer, has said that Pakistan’s carpet export has dropped by 50% for the last five years while the export of rugs from India has shown growth of over 9 per cent in early 2014-15 due to government support to export-oriented industry.

“The government is in process of bringing positive changes in rules and business environment to enhance handmade carpet exports in collaboration with the industry, which have fallen by more than 50 per cent to around $120 million from $300 million, mainly due to absence of incentives, political instability and energy shortage. On the other hand, our neighbouring country India’s carpet exports has registered the growth of around 9% just in one month of the current fiscal, on account of huge incentive and variety of subsidies by the government, turning the Indian products competitive in markets of the US, China and Latin America.”

Addressing the opening ceremony of International Handmade Carpet Exhibition organized by PCMEA, S.M Muneer, said that the government is determined to facilitate hand-knotted carpet industry, resolving all issues of infrastructural, skill and product development, and research to enhance trade volume for economic stability and growth.  Carpet Exhibition chief organizer Major (r) Akhtar Nazir Cooki, PCMEA newly-elected chairman Usman Ghani and Senior Vice Chairman (Northern Zone) Qamar Zia were also present on this occasion. They urged the TDAP CE to help ensure PCMEA representation in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Board of Export Development Funds.

The carpet sector cannot benefit from the duty-free access to EU market under GSP Plus status unless the government provides incentives to export-oriented carpet industry. He said that a significant ratio of working capital of carpet exporters is already stuck-up in refund regime at a time when the carpet exports have already declined to $120 million.

PCMEA Chairman Usman Ghani and SVC Qamar Zia added that the process of hand-made carpet was quite lengthy and extremely slow, adding that loans to the poor hand-knotted carpets manufacturers should be provided on only 3 percent service charges, as the 100 percent exportable hand-made carpets provided livelihood to more than one million people in remote areas.

 They demanded representation on the Board of Export Development Funds, because the hand knotted carpet industry is one of the most important export-oriented industry of Pakistan.