Khalid Ali Khan: "The evolution of the Chinese market has created a gap for Pakistani manufacturers”
Apparel fabrics trade show Intertextile opened its doors in Shanghai on Monday, rounding up thousands of the industry’s key player. FashionMag.com is on the ground to deliver a series of articles on the textile industry in China and its neighboring countries. Matthieu Guinebault kicks off with an interview with Khalid Ali Khan, senior marketing manager for Pakistani production company Sapphire – with 17,000 employees and annual revenue of $450 million - who sees the fact that the Chinese are turning to their domestic market for production as an opportunity for Pakistani manufacturers.
FashionMag Premium: Chinese manufacturers are tending to the needs of Chinese consumers. Have you seen an effect on the number of European order placed because of this?
Khalid Ali Khan: There is definitely a space in the market for Pakistan since the China has increased its prices. However, the gap is not huge. The majority of our exports are of good quality because we work with a lot of America and Europe. China is still a client for us, but less so now that Pakistan is more targeted towards the production of finish products. Consumers in Europe and North America are very focused on quality which has pushed us increase in quality.
FM: So Chinese consumers are more price-driven than anything?
KAK: China is a giant and looks for price over quality - that is a fact. Pakistan is a country focused on apparel production and our company supplies fabric to many manufacturers actually based in Pakistan. The market works like a set of scales with the price at one end and quality at the other. An increase in the price of production will lead to a decrease in quality because volumes need to be met, and vice-versa. Slowly and surely the Chinese market will adapt to this same concept as its continues to fight for low finished product prices.
FM:Does this expected evolution in the market factor in to your strategic development?
KAK: It the moment, it is important for us to focus on constantly improving our offering in order to hold our place on the market and stay competitive. In the country, there are several companies that are investing in equipment and infrastructure to help increase production capacities and therefore their ability to handle larger orders more quickly. There is a big demand for 100% cotton at the moment, which is an advantage for us because we produce the material.
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