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On the instructions of High Commissioner Raza Bashir Tarar, a webinar was organised by the Consulate General of Pakistan, Toronto on 10 December, 2020, on the “Textile sector exports to Canada”. The objective of the webinar was to understand opportunities and challenges in the Canadian market for textile exporters from Pakistan. The webinar was moderated by Mr.Azhar Husain, Commercial Counsellor, Consulate General of Pakistan, Toronto. Mr. Abdul Hameed, Consul General of Pakistan, made the opening remarks. The panellists included Mr. Babar Khan, owner of Multinational Export Bureau, Mr. Muhammad Sohail, Director Sales & Marketing, Canada Textile Incorporated, a leading importer of textile products in Canada and Mr. Kashif Mehtab Chawla, one of the owners of Al-Karam Towel Industries (Pvt.) Ltd.

In his opening remarks, Consul General Abdul Hameed highlighted the huge size of Canada’s apparel retail market of $28 billion, which is expected to grow to $ 29.5 billion by 2025. He pointed out that Canadian market is highly competitive where e-commerce is gaining more popularity than traditional retailers. He highlighted that total exports of textile sector of Pakistan to Canada was around 1.3% of the latter’s total textile imports. Mr. Azhar Hussain also briefed the audience on key figures of the overall trade between Pakistan and Canada, and the tariff regime for import of products from Pakistan and other countries.

The panellists highlighted the tariff disadvantage for Pakistani products in Canada, and emphasized that Pakistan should focus on research and development and quality related certifications to meet international standards. They underlined the textile trade related bottlenecks such as lack of exporters’ database, lack of focus on R&D, high cost of utilities, high landing cost due to MFN tariffs, and high tax rates. There was a need to hold seminars and exhibitions where buyers in Canadian market could meet the Pakistani exporters, and explore business opportunities especially related to value added and finished goods. It was also emphasised that out of box product offerings would help offset the impact of tariff on the product cost. The speakers encouraged the new comers to come up with new ideas and brand their products with online presence.

The session ended with Q and A session whereby the speakers responded to many queries raised by the audience. The webinar ended with concluding remarks by Consul General Abdul Hameed who urged the Pakistani exporters to grab the opportunity in the international market and utilise the present upsurge in Pakistan’s exports to enhance and modernize their manufacturing systems.



10th December 2020

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