Wed, 18 Oct 2000

Pakistan considers buying Texmaco textile equipment

JAKARTA (JP): The Pakistani government said on Tuesday it was considering importing textile equipment from Indonesia to support a restructuring program for the country's textile industry,

Visiting Minister of Commerce, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood told reporters here, that Indonesia was among the textile producers that had caught Pakistan's attention.

Other potential suppliers, he said, were Japan, China, Europe and the United States.

"Texmaco will be one of the competing suppliers," Dawood said referring to Indonesia's giant textile holding company. He added that he planned to visit Texmaco's factory today.

Texmaco badly needs a deal to help restructure its massive debt of some US$2.7 billion, most of which is owed to the government.

Dawood said his country might spend some US$6 billion over the next five years to upgrade its textile industry.

During talks with Minister of Industry and Trade Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia also agreed to consider buying raw cotton from Pakistan.

Pakistan could export some 300,000 bales of raw cotton, or less than 300,000 tons, to Indonesia, Dawood said.

He added that the country hoped to step up its cotton exports to Indonesia, after poor crops for the past three years had reduced its overseas sales.

The Pakistani minister met with his Indonesian counterpart to discuss ways of improving the two countries' trade relations.

Dawood said that aside from exporting cotton to Indonesia, Pakistan also planned to export rice and chemical products.

From Indonesia, Pakistan might import palm oil, textile equipment and chemical products, he explained.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that Indonesia enjoyed a trade surplus of $41.35 million with Pakistan last year.

In 1998, Indonesia's trade surplus with Pakistan was $9 million up from $4 million the year before.

Meanwhile in 1999, exports to Pakistan reached $163.66 million, a drop from the $166.61 million achieved the year before.

Imports from Pakistan last year dropped to $122.31 million from $156.95 million in 1998.(bkm)