Leather garments: Government urged to allow duty free access to Japan, Canada

Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PLGMEA) has urged the federal government to allow duty free access for leather garments to Japan and Canada. In a letter to Prime Minister's Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, Chairman PLGMEA Syed Shujat Ali appreciated the advisor for making efforts to negotiate a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) for value added Pakistani products for the Japanese and Canadian markets.

According to the chairman PLGMEA, currently Japanese importers of leather garments have to pay a high duty rate for the import of leather garments from Pakistan. Previously these importers and brands were using China as their manufacturing base and Pakistan was shipping finished leather to China for conversion to leather products (jackets). However with the rise of costs in China the Japanese importers have been trying for the last two years to find another production base.

He further stated that Pakistan is well suited to make the value added finished jackets for the Japanese market, but due to duty free access from Vietnam, it is cheaper for the Japanese customers to source Pakistani finished leather and get the garments made in Vietnam, although the FOB price offered by Pakistani exporters for the same product is more competitive but the import duty costs are cheaper for the Japanese importer when working through Vietnam. "If Pakistan offers duty free access to the Japanese and Canadian market, we would be able to deliver more competitive and shorter lead time deliveries to them," Syed Shujat added.