Published Date: Dec 21, 2016
‘Strategies needed to penetrate world’s biggest markets’
Modern strategies should be devised to penetrate the United States and European Union markets, which are the largest in the world despite the number of emerging economies, a World Bank representative said at a seminar on Tuesday.
The World Bank’s Ravindra A Yatawara was speaking at ‘Policies to Boost Competitiveness: The Case of Apparel Sector’, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Mr Yatawara said winning the trust and confidence of the buyer is very important, and companies should take steps to do so if they want to be successful.
“After 2005, competitive pressure increased because of free trade, and now all the power lies with the buyer. Now the time has come to consolidate productions and there should be faster response times. New strategies should be used to contact buyers and try to avoid middlemen, to increase profits and pass the maximum benefits to the buyer,” he said.
He added that the customisation of products should be ensured, which is the only way the buyer will be able to acquire products of choice.
He also said it was not necessary that a manufacturer would succeed after creating his own brand. Giving Turkey’s example, the World Bank representative said the country has been manufacturing products for renowned brands, but when some manufacturers attempted to launch the same products under different names they failed because making a brand needs a different strategy.
Mr Yatawara said Pakistan is a large market, and products can also be exported from here to the Middle East.
The finance ministry’s official industrial policy adviser, Umer Khalid, said the export of value added products – such as garments – has increased over the years.
“Manufacturers in Pakistan have an advantage as compared to countries like Bangladesh, because raw material [cotton] is produced in the country,” he said. Mr Khalid said that there is no system to regulate the quality of cotton seeds but steps are being taken to ensure farmers receive quality seeds.
Earlier in the event, SDPI deputy executive director Vaqar Ahmed explained that the competitiveness of the clothing sector had been hurt by the high cost of doing business in Pakistan, including the high import tariffs and energy and security costs.
Pakistan’s limited participation in global value chains could be attributed to weak trade facilitation and a lack of coordination between the Ministry of Commerce, Federal Board of Revenue and provincial revenue authorities.