Exporters with warehouses abroad may be subsidised

FRANKFURT (January 28 2003) : Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan said that government would soon come-up with a policy to promote and subsidise textile exporters willing to maintain warehouses in Europe.

He was talking to a delegation of Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association headed by its co-convenor Ali Raza, here at Heimtextil, world's largest home textile show.

The minister, who had earlier met with his counterpart at Berlin, visited the Expo and stayed there the entire day meeting all the exhibitors from Pakistan.

He was apprised of problems including acquisition of European/American visa and the latest issue of anti-dumping on bed linen.

Pakistan's contingent of 216 exhibitors (as compared to 156 last year) ranked one of the largest top ten among 71 countries. 3,251 exhibitors (about a hundred more than 2002) presented their products to some 100,000 highly professional trade visitors from 91 countries. (General visitors were allowed only on public day to specific halls).

For Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan the organisers had added a 10th hall.

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Pakistan, which had acquired 473 square meters, allotted stalls (measuring 13 sq. meters on average) to 38 exporters participating with EPB assistance.

For towel and bathrobe there were 13 exhibitors who were given (3 corner and 10 inner side) stalls through balloting two days prior to the Fair.

This year EPB's convenient and well-decorated stands were poles apart from last year's shabby ones.

In 2002, the bamboo and chatai booths, besides giving a Far Eastern look, were totally impractical.

Then Messe Frankfurt (the organisers of the Fair) too took serious notice of the fire-prone material used.

It is worthwhile mentioning here that entering Heimtextil (which has a 750 year history) is not easy.

Companies from all over the globe wait for years to be allowed to get into the exhibition. And in this highly competitive atmosphere experimentation could disqualify one immediately.

Moreover, purchasers give importance to tidiness, which makes them comfortable and secure, that they are placing order to a right country.

Then we have to compete with the Eastern Europe as customers compare them with India and Pakistan.

In order to avoid any fear of debarment, Commercial Consular of Pakistan in Germany Fawad Hussain Fawad extended all out co-operation to planners and exporters to present the country in a befitting manner.

Consequently, Pakistani companies drew very large number of buyers interested in drapery, bed linen, bed wear, towel, curtain and upholstery etc.

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