LAHORE: Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Wednesday assured All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) leadership to provide all technical and financial support to the textile industry of Pakistan in promoting manufacture and export of non-woven fabric and technical textiles. A five member delegation of KOICA visited the APTMA office here and had discussions with senior APTMA management and leading textile manufacturers on the scope of promoting technical textiles. They said that KOICA is a donor agency, working closely with National Textile University (NTU) Faisalabad to promote non-woven textile fabrics and technical textiles. APTMA management Asad Shafi, Shahzad Ahmed Sheikh, Haroon Elahi, Ismail Farid, Umair Abid and Secretary General APTMA Raza Baqir welcomed the delegation at APTMA House. On this occasion, Asad Shafi made a detailed presentation on textile industry in general and prospects of non-woven textile industry in Pakistan. He appreciated the establishment of a testing laboratory by KOICA at NTU, Faisalabad in the first phase of cooperation and lauded the launching of the second phase aimed at providing R&D facilities, advance testing and support to the potential investors. He hoped that this generous offer from KOICA would go a long way to enhance Pakistan’s meagre share of 0.2 percent in the $200 billion global market of technical textiles. Asad said presently not more than 200 manufactures, mostly small and medium sized companies based in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Lahore and Karachi are engaged in the production of non-woven fabrics at small scale. He was confident that the support of KOICA would encourage large scale manufacturing of technical textiles in Pakistan. Asad said that low cost of doing business, reliable suppliers of commodity raw material, high local demand of diverse products, possibility to acquire technical know-how and good infrastructure in the country are promising features of technical textile in Pakistan. He added that growing local demand, high export potential, industrial growth and foreign investment offer great opportunities in the field of technical textile in Pakistan. While appreciating the role of National Textile University for setting up Pak-Korea Technical Textile Centre, Asad Shafi said the centre is helping not only the existing industry to shift to these textiles but also to establish start-ups since the emergence of highly value added, high performance technical textiles. Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Jinil Kim, head of the Korean delegation briefed the participants about the activities and projects undertaken by KOICA. He informed that encouraged by the success of the first phase, KOICA is seriously considering launching the second phase in collaboration with NTU, Faisalabad. Kim continued that the next phase of the project would ensure the establishment and growth of the technical textiles industry in Pakistan and provide support to the business start-ups in technical sectors and facilitate domestic and export market development for technical textiles. Kim added that the second phase would mostly cover Research & Development, sophisticated testing laboratory, market access, technical know-how, capacity building, state of the art testing equipment, consultancy services and development of international linkages. Senior leader APTMA Haroon Elahi, presented a vote of thanks to the visiting delegation at the end of the meeting. He hoped that the cooperation and assistance by the Korean authorities would give a fillip to the local nascent technical textile industry and grossly contribute to upsurge Pakistan’s share in the global technical textiles market.