In January 2015, British Council in partnership with Pakistan Fashion Council hosted a policy roundtable, 'Talking Fashion: Policy, Infrastructure and Sustainability' in Karachi. This brought together key policy makers, top designers, merchandisers and fashion and textiles faculty and students at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
Building on the findings of the Creative Industries of Pakistan report, which spoke of a brand identity for Made in Pakistan creative products and the immense potential of the fashion industry, the dialogue highlighted the challenges faced by Pakistani fashion businesses in working with the UK markets. Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, seconded this by agreeing that as well as regional markets like India and the Middle East, Pakistan must now look towards the European Union and take advantage of the country’s GSP Plus status.
With the intention of implementing an inclusive approach in the future, Dr Nafisa Shah, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) and Vice-President of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), stressed upon the importance of underpinning trade initiatives with sustainability and taking the rural population, otherwise reliant on agriculture, along in the new road to development. Other areas for skills development for the Pakistan fashion sector included research and development, marketing, merchandising and styling among others.