Pakistan's textile and clothing exports increased by 7% to US$9.63bn in the nine months from July through March 2013, supported by a waiver in EU import duties.

Monthly exports were up by 13.2% in March, with the sector's share of the country's total exports rising to 55%.

According to the latest data released by the country's Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), exports of woven ready-made garments went up by 10% to US$1.32bn, exports of cotton yarn surged by 29% to US$1.65bn, and cotton fabrics grew by 11.6% to US$1.99bn during the nine-month period

Footwear exports rose 2.52% to US$78m, against $76m last year.

A spokesperson from the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) told just-style that a lot of business is being shifted from China and India.

The spokesperson added that if regular energy supplies were ensured, textile and clothing exports could increase to us$15bn in the fiscal year that runs from July to June, up from from the current level of US$12.4bn.

The textile industry in Pakistan is being hit by severe power cuts, although authorities have helped textile exports by providing subsidies in the form of drawback on taxes, loans at reduced rates, reimbursements on taxes, and tax-free import of machinery.

Textile and clothing exports could enjoy further growth if the GSP+ trade concession on exports to the EU is approved by 2014. Pakistan is the fifth largest textile and clothing supplier to the EU with an annual trade volume of over EUR8bn.