Pakistan's apparel exports to the US in first half of 2007 increased by 11% in value and 5% in volume according to the latest figures released by the US Trade Department.

The official trade data shows Pakistan shipped US$690m worth of apparel products to the US during the interim period.

Pakistan's share in US apparel imports during the period has also improved to 2.01%, from 1.93% during the same period last year 

The unit value of apparel from Pakistan was $2.05 per square metre compared with $1.94 per square metre during same period last year, reflecting a growth of 5.7%.

The growth in exports and market share can be attributed to Indian currency appreciation, which led to improved export orders for Pakistan.

A number of incentives is also being provided to apparel exporters in Pakistan, including a cash subsidy up to 6% of the FOB value of garments, and concessionary credits to the apparel and textile industry.

In addition, apparel exporters in Pakistan enjoy the lowest cotton and labour rates in the world. On the other hand, though, Pakistan lacks duty-free access to the US apparel market compared with many of its competitors.

By Ahmed Abdullah.