The Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) demanded the government on Monday that consultations among all stakeholders should be arranged on an urgent basis to identify real challenges and their solution for an early export growth. A spokesman for the PTEA said in a statement that Pakistan was passing through difficult times and an increase in export proceeds could stable its economy. He said that textile export industry was highly concerned over the recent downfall in exports. Many factors including high production cost, currency devaluation, etc. had contributed to the deteriorating exports. He said that political instability and economic slowdown pulled country’s exports down 15.4 per cent to $2.2 billion in January 2023 against $2.61 billion in the same month last year, making it the fourth consecutive decline. He said that Pakistan’s economy had been in crisis for months, predating the catastrophic floods. Inflation was backbreaking, the rupee’s value had fallen sharply and its foreign reserves had now dropped to the precariously low level. The key crisis in the domestic economy was the fall of the country’s foreign exchange reserves to the alarming level whereas rest of the crisis included a 49-year high inflation rate, a 23-year high key policy rate at 16pc, a steep fall in exports, increased rate of taxes and historic devaluation of the domestic currency, he said, adding that textile industry was operating at capacity utilisation of less than 50c across the country and a substantial number of jobs had already been lost and many more were to follow. He was of the view that historic surge in the dollar value and the economic crisis were the foremost factors hurting outbound trade and it has become very difficult to compete in the world market. Consequently, sizeable textile capacity had been severely impaired and textile exports, both in quantity and value terms had declined across the value chain. He said that due to decrease in exports and failure to end the economic crisis, a large number of laborers in textile and textile-related industries had lost their jobs.