ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Textile and Industry Abbas Khan Afridi has said the government has decided to focus in searching for the new market/avenues to enhance the variety of exports at regional and global levels for the prosperity of the country.

In an interview, soon after taking the charge of the portfolio of Ministry of Textile Industry, he said that top priority of the government would also enhance the regional trade for further move on regional economic integration and strengthen the economic cooperation between the regional economies.

Replying to a query, he said the government would announce the annual textile policy in mid of current year and “we are committed to evolving comprehensive strategy for the development of textile industry”.

He said that textile sector has a share of 54pc of total country’s exports, which need to be enhanced more for increasing the trade volume. Afridi said that the government would make a comprehensive long and short term strategy for the revival of Textile industry in the country. He stressed the need for modernizing the industrial tools and equipped the man-power of local industries with innovated skill and technology.

The Minister further said that the government wanted to get on-board all stakeholders for initiating the modern management system to get more production and advantage on low cost of production.

Replying to a question, he said that shortage of skilled manpower and practicing old method in textile industry was main barrier to achieve targets and enhance the trade volume at international market.

He urged the local industrialists to invest and train the manpower with modern instruments and use of information technology to compete with international investors and get more production.

Replying to another question, he said that European Union had granted Generalized System of Preferences (GSP- Plus) to get duty free excess in EU market, which is a big achievement of the government.

He added that after overcoming the energy crisis in the country, “We could raise the production of textile in local industry and to get more benefits from the status of GSP- Plus status”.

The Minister said that in past regime, the ministry had faced the shortage of budget to implement the plan and strategy for the revival of textile industry.

He said that the up-gradation of old textile infrastructure is the top priority of government to adopt the modern industrial techniques for more industrial production in the country.

Abbas Afridi said that industrial development and foreign investment would depend on internal law and order of the country.

He said that the government was committed to maintain peace and prosperity to trickle down the resources at grassroots level.