Having tasted success from the recently held 'Fibre-To-Fashion' trade event in Surat, the local textile industry is bullish about increasing business with their Pakistani counterparts. While on one hand the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SGCCI) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) have pledged co-operation with each other, it is the respective textile industries that are looking upbeat.
"We have met some Pakistani textile business persons and they had shown interest to do business in India, especially with Surat. But for that we need to build up friendly and trusty atmosphere for business community. There are so many opportunities for textile, auto, agriculture, textile machineries and many other things," said Devkishan Manghani, past president of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA).
Event partner and textile portal fibre2fashion.com stated that the response among Pakistani textile businessmen has been very good. "Business houses from home textiles, denim and garments verticals were present in the event and have expressed desire to work with the Surat-based textile industry," a fibre2fashion.com spokesperson stated.
According to Surat textile industry sources, their Pakistani textile counterparts evinced interest in procurement and outsourcing of grey cloth and fabric, especially synthetic to Surat.
"During the discussion with Pakistani textile industry representatives, they showed interest in outsourcing and procurement of textile materials from India, especially Surat. Pakistan is interested in raw fabrics, chemicals and processing materials for textile industry. For Gujarat it can be a huge business as we have large number of processing and chemical units in the state," said Kamlesh Yagnik, president of Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SGCCI). "From both India and Pakistan side business community wants to work together. It is needed to just create normal business rules and environment for that. If it will be done then both the countries will have very huge business," said Manghani.
Currently, trade size of between India and Pakistan is about $2.5 billion and it will increased ten times higher to $25 billion in next one decade if both the countries will do business in normal way. Right now India trades with Pakistan in three ways. One is third countries business, in this India exports from other countries like Dubai and Afghanistan. Second is illegal entry and third is direct trade in which exporters pay duty for many sensitive items.
According to Manghani Pakistan is importing textile machineries from America, EU and China. If Pakistan purchase it from India, it will be more cheaper for them. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) had visited Pakistan with delegation of various business representative of Gujarat in November. Devkishan Manghani was also part of them.
ICRIER is an autonomous, policy-oriented, not-for-profit, economic policy think tank. ICRIER's main focus is to enhance the knowledge content of policy making by undertaking analytical research that is targeted at informing India's policy makers and also at improving the interface with the global economy.
During the visit of Pakistan, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SGCCI) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) to co-operate each other and create business environment in their respective countries. Manghani said, "It will take some time to set up proper atmosphere but yes the idea have lots of opportunities for India and Pakistan."