The Pakistani government is being urged to take measures to discourage woven garment manufacturers and exporters from relocating their businesses to countries like Bangladesh and China.

The call comes after a number of woven garment plants recently relocated from Karachi to Bangladesh, with many others looking to set up units in China, according to the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA).

Bangladesh offers several advantages to woven garment manufacturers over Pakistan, Ijaz Khokhar, central chairman PRGMEA, told just-style. These include an uninterrupted energy supply at cheaper rates, efficient and skilled workers, low production costs, and duty-free market access to the European Union.

He urged the Ministry of Textiles to take measures and resume the Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) scheme to discourage the relocation and encourage woven garment manufacturers and exporters to continue with their businesses in Pakistan.

The textile industry accounts for over 50% of Pakistan's total export receipts and provides direct employment for around 2.5m people. The industry currently faces high inflation, low labour productivity, energy problems, raw material shortages and very high interest rates.