ISLAMABAD – The US licensor of Disney products – Walt Disney – is all set to blacklist Pakistan by the end of this month and more likely the big retailers like WalMart, Macys, Sears, Target, Kmart, Kohls, Gap and JC Penny would be doing the same.
According to an estimate, the blacklisting of Walt Disney would cut the total production of $ 200 million in Pakistan.
Walt Disney decided to blacklist Pakistan as it failed to ally its concerns regarding certain UN standards. Pakistan is currently ranked low on the World Governance Index (WGI) by the World Bank which Walt Disney strictly follow while awarding production licenses to the vendors of any country.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Vice President Azhar Majeed Sheikh said that a minimum of 25 points were required to qualify, however, Pakistan could get only 19 points and was declared ineligible.
The chairman of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, feared that removal of Pakistan from Permitted Sourcing Countries list would buffet the textile exports of Pakistan.
He said the decision of Walt Disney would also prompt other big retailers like WalMart, Macys, Sears, Target, Kmart, Kohls, Gap, JC Penny and others to disconnect their business ties with Pakistan.
Ilyas feared that the blacklisting would cost Pakistan millions of dollars leading to closure of countless medium and small units rendering thousands of workers jobless.
Walt Disney’s official website commented on this issue as:
We have undertaken this decision with the understanding that our requirements may be more demanding than those of other licensors and brands. While this may result in a loss of royalty revenues to Disney, we believe that the benefits of reduced risk and increased compliance with our standards justify the potential financial impact. We also understand that there is no “perfect” solution to the challenges we confront as a global licensor and that others, particularly direct buyers, may pursue different approaches in the management of their own international labor standards commitments.
We will continue to monitor working conditions around the world. Countries that demonstrate meaningful improvements as reflected in the World Bank Governance Indicators or that adopt the ILO/IFC’s Better Work program will be considered for future inclusion on the Permitted Sourcing Countries list.