Indian garment manufacturers cancel visit to Pakistan

A delegation of Indian garments manufacturers has cancelled its planned visit to Pakistan, reportedly due to the prevailing tension on Line of Control.

Sources told Business Recorder on Wednesday that a delegation of Clothing Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI) was planning to visit Pakistan next month to discuss bilateral trade and explore opportunities of garment import from Pakistan.

As per the programme, Rahul Mehta, president of CMAI, was to lead the five-member delegation of CMAI. He is also representative of International Apparel Federation (IAF) in India and the invitation was forward by Ijaz Khokhar, IAF representative in Pakistan, during the annual convention of IAF.

Sources said that after hectic efforts, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) got No Objection Certificates (NOC) from ministry of interior for visas of the members of the delegation. Accordingly, these NOCs were sent to Pakistan High Commission in India and as well as to the members of the delegation for visa stamping.

However, suddenly on Tuesday the delegation informed that it would not be able to visit Pakistan due to the ongoing boarder tension between both countries. “Every thing was ready for the visit of this high profile Indian garments’ delegation, however, suddenly they informed us via phone that they are not coming to Pakistan” said Ijaz Khokhar IAF representative in Pakistan and former chairman PREGMEA.

He said that the one week visit of CMAI was scheduled for mid February 2013 to meet traders, exporters, importers and government high officials. “Meetings with PREGMEA members, governor or Chief Minister Sindh, ministry of textile officials, Chief Minister Punjab, visits of different industrial zones and garments factories were almost finalised,” he added.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was to sign during the visit for Technical Corporation between leading garment associations of both countries as they have a state-of-the-art garments technical institute in Bangalore, which can help to train our students. Talks for maximum participation in the Indian National Exhibitions were also an important agenda of the visit, he mentioned.

This is huge loss for the domestic textile industry, which is struggling to open new doors for bilateral trade and enhance trade relation between the two countries, Khokhar said. He said that in the prevailing economic condition trade with neighbour country was more viable than far countries, therefore, they were also focusing India as prime market for Pakistani garments. “Rahul Mehta has assured me that he will re-plan the visit of CMIA delegation and it will to visit in October 2013,” he informed.