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ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP): Pakistan’s Consul General in Toronto, Canada Abdul Hameed has urged Pakistani exporters to grab the opportunity in international market and utilize the present upsurge in the country’s exports to enhance and modernize their manufacturing systems.

He was speaking at a webinar organised by the Consulate General of Pakistan, Toronto, on the “Textile Sector Exports to Canada”, a statement issued by Pakistan Consulate General in Toronto on Friday said.

The objective of the webinar, organized on the instructions of High Commissioner Raza Bashir Tarar, was to understand opportunities and challenges in the Canadian market for textile exporters from Pakistan, the statement said.

The panellists included Babar Khan, owner of Multinational Export Bureau, Muhammad Sohail, Director Sales & Marketing, Canada Textile Incorporated, a leading importer of textile products in Canada and Kashif Mehtab Chawla, one of the owners of Al-Karam Towel Industries (Pvt.) Ltd.

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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.

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.

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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.