The plight of Carpet Industry of Pakistan is turning into an abysmal story as the export value of the industry during the last decade till 2017, came down from $396 million to $136 million. India in comparison had an annual carpet export of $300 million which soared to $8 billion in 2016 Total production of Pakistan fell from 2,930,000 square meters to a mere 1,982,000 square metres.From being one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of hand-knotted carpets, to being one of the five prime export-oriented sectors of the country under Generalised System of Preference (GSP) plus status from European Union (EU), the carpet industry has not yet found a way out to bolster their exports in international markets and to become a vital player in the foreign trade of Pakistan. The non-exploration of new markets, acute shortage of electricity, shortage of skilled labour force and high mark-up rates are just few of the many reasons behind the current state of affairs of carpet industries.When Pakistan got the GSP plus status, it was expected that it would double its exports to EU, but instead it saw a decline in exports. The past successive governments failed to come up with any conclusive strategy to deal with the issue, the establishment of a council meant to tackle the problems of the sector was not formulated either. Pakistan was known to be a specialist of hand-made carpets. But the decision of Commerce Ministry to exclude the hand-made carpets from Free Trade Agreement (FTA) concession list and to include machine-made carpets proved to be a disaster for the industry, as it decreased the value of Pakistan’s hand-knotted carpets in the International market.Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Chairman, Latif Malik, said that among other suggestions to the new government, Association would press upon the need to mainstream women labour, so that women (formal and informal) workers might get employments at their doorstep. A single piece of carpet requires six months to a year’s labour. Around 70 percent of work force of this sector comprises of women who make carpets at home .The Association suggested new government to allocate substantial amount from its Public Sector Development Programme.Pakistan is one of the most innovative producers of new designs and varieties of carpets. The gains made in US market during 12 years are now beginning to give Pakistan an edge in EU if new government tries for sector’s uplift. Malik, said that, Exporters were on demand for early release of refunds, concessions and credit financing. The exports of carpet from Pakistan would likely to exceed $500 million mark if it was provided commerce and industry ministries support. Hand knotted carpets are one the major exports of Pakistan. Pakistani carpets are very well known around the world for their exquisite and creative designs, beautiful colour combinations and superior craftsmanship. United Kingdom, Denmark and France are buyers of hand knotted carpets valuing to more than $110 million. Pakistan’s exports to US in terms of quantity were more than 1685,100 square meter.China, Dubai and Germany were classic examples of well-organised international trade fairs, where businessmen from all over the world converged.Malik further said that, the industry is in serious need of the government’s help, which can provide it at least 3 percent collateral relief on carpet export. Europe and South America are potential regions of carpet export. Foreign missions of Pakistan can play important role in bringing a turnaround by educating Pakistani carpet manufacturers and exporters about fast global-changing trends and giving awareness about latest techniques and technology being deployed by the developed world. Making all these changes would hopefully end the declining trend of exports of the industry and would help to improve its current dismal situation into something valuable for the foreign trade and economy of Pakistan.Published in Daily Times, August 14th 2018.