The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has decided to invest $25 million in one of the country’s top fashion retailers Khaadi for creating jobs, promoting gender equality, and supporting the fundamental textile sector in the wake of Covid-19.
This huge investment is part of an extensive effort by the IFC with the purpose to develop Pakistan’s private sector, which is essential for creating opportunities and fighting poverty in the country, IFC said on Saturday.
Since 1956, IFC has financed over $1.2 billion in Pakistan, supporting smaller businesses and stimulating the development of renewable energy, hydro, and wind energy projects.
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The investment is intended to support the development of the country’s retail and textiles divisions, which provide 40 percent of job opportunities and account for almost 9percent of the country’s gross domestic product. About 30percent of those who are employed in the textiles sector are women and helping the industry will promote gender equality in Pakistan.
Moreover, the investment of IFC for a minority stake in Khaadi Corporation, having 57 retail outlets spread all over Pakistan and a presence in the United Kingdom and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The funding will help the company spur its growth by increasing its retail footprint and online global sales.
In this regard, Shamoon Sultan, founder, and CEO of Khaadi Corporation said, “We are excited to begin the next chapter of our growth transformation with IFC’s first investment in the Pakistan fashion retail sector. We envisage this investment will help us set new benchmarks in organizing the retail sector in Pakistan and beyond, through strategic initiatives to drive growth, corporate governance, and diversity.”
“The textiles and retail industry is a core part of Pakistan’s economy and a major employer of women, especially in the garment sector,” stated Zeeshan Sheikh, IFC Country Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“By channeling financing and advisory support into the industry and partnering with innovative companies like Khaadi we can help the sector grow, formalize, become more sustainable, and create greater economic employment opportunities for women,” he added.