The annual textile and clothing show by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) had a little twist this year with children walking the ramp, much to the audience’s delight. The kids strutted around like professional models at the Governor House on Saturday.

All the clothes showcased were made of fabric produced by local textile mills. “This isn’t really called a fashion show, but a textile and clothing show, which takes place annually,” event host Juggun Kazim said. “This year is a milestone, as we are also celebrating the award of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status, which has granted Pakistani products duty free access to the European market.”

The show consisted of three showcases; the first was by a number of textile mills, including Gul Ahmed and Stoneage. Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design students then showcased their work. The final showcase was from Pakistan’s very own league of designers, including favourites such as Sana Safinaz, Sania Maskatiya and Faraz Manan, who ended the show on a grand note. The fabric for all designs put forth at the event was provided by APMTA. Another notable factor was the amount of variety at the event, from kid’s apparel to bridal wear, there was something for everyone.

“The show exhibits the potential of both Pakistan’s textiles, as well as the country’s fashion industry. The collaboration between the two can do wonders, and there is this chance to show an enlightened image of Pakistan in European Union through its products. Tonight’s show has really been amazing,” said Fauzia Khan, one of the guests at the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that he saw potential in Pakistan’s textile industry. “If the textile industry makes a shirt in one dollar, with a little extra hard work, it can improve the shirt and may get $10 in a European or US market. We have achieved GSP Plus status and now, our next target is US markets. Our textile industry should make good use of this opportunity and compete on an international level,” he stated.

APTMA Chairman Yasin Siddik asserted that the textile industry believed in the mantra ‘trade not aid’ for Pakistan. The textile industry in Pakistan needs support from the Pakistani government, and it has the potential to uplift the economic condition of the country, maintained Siddik.

APTMA Group Leader Gohar Ejaz shared that their association was the largest employer in the country and that it had great potential to increase exports. However, he complained about the heavy electricity prices for the industry in Pakistan.

“Despite all the odds, we congratulate the government and are hopeful GSP Plus status to Pakistan will increase our exports and help us in fixing the country’s economy,” he added.