The city of Sialkot has been a centre of excellence for the production of sports goods for more than 100 years. The first record of manufacturing of sports goods in Sialkot can be traced back to 1883 with the products such as cricket bats, hockey sticks, polo sticks etc. In 1918, a football was added and was supplied to British Army stationed at Singapore. Today the Sports Goods sector of Sialkot is at its climax as it has acquired an important place in international trade of sports goods.
Presently the Sports Goods Industry of Sialkot is supplying products to almost every country of the world, directly or indirectly. The products are mostly made for international markets and have received worldwide recognition because of the quality that goes into the selection of raw material, design, manufacturing processes and delivery to the customers.
Some of the world renowned brands who are sourcing a large portion of their supplies of sports goods from Sialkot are:
More than 200,000 people are directly employed in the sports goods sector exporting sports goods worth US$ 450 millions annually from around 2,400 companies. Sialkot caters more than 70% of total world demand for hand-stitched inflatable soccer balls i.e. around 40 million balls annually worth US$ 210 million. During the peak season, which repeats after 4 years on the occasion of FIFA World Cup, the production of inflatable balls exceeds 60 million per annum. These balls are produced by a workforce of around 60,000.
The sports goods sector also has a very strong international presence in the market. Before China’s massive entry into international trade a few years ago, Pakistan was the world’s largest exporter of gloves used by motor bikers, goalkeepers, baseball, boxing, shooting etc. Currently the exports value of gloves reaches to US$ 50 million per annum.
Articles of sportswear exported include:
- Track suits
- Wind Breakers
- Judo/Karate Kits
- Casual Wear
Today a skilled workforce of more than 10,000 employees is directly engaged in the production of sportswear and its exports value reaches to US$ 100 million per annum.
Leather garments sector is an important foreign exchange earner for the country. This sector is mainly scattered in two cities namely Sialkot and Karachi. As per the survey conducted by LIDO in 1997, there were a total of 355 units in the country out of which 186 are in Sialkot. In Sialkot approximately 12,000 people are directly employed by the sector. The leather garments entrepreneurs of Sialkot enjoy a distinctive edge over their counterparts in Karachi mainly due to expertise and skills they assimilated from the export culture of the city. Immaculate products of contemporary designs are crafted by using very good leathers. In addition the skills of the craftsmen impart an insurmountable competitive edge to the products unmatched by Pakistan’s competitors.
Another hallmark of the sector is the presence of SMEs, which have been performing the role as engine of growth by adapting to the changing market and customers trends in an agile manner. This sector is exporting goods worth US$ 217 (M) annually.
The Surgical Instruments Industry of Pakistan holds a history of more than 100 years, when some British doctors got their surgical instruments repaired from the skilled workers of Sialkot and that was the foundation of Sialkot Surgical Industry. The success in surgical instruments sector lies due to the technical expertise and skills of the people of Sialkot in mechanical engineering. The Surgical instruments Industry is also amongst the seven priority sectors (under light engineering head). The annual exports of Sialkot’s Surgical Instruments Industry are around US $ 180 Million out of its world market of over US$ 30 (B).
The Surgical Industry represents manufacturers and exporters of Surgical Instruments, Dental Instruments, Veterinary Instruments, Pedicure and Manicure Items, Tailor Scissors, Barber Saloon Scissors and Beauty Saloon instruments. About 1900 small and medium Surgical Units with labor force ranging from (10-500) are producing surgical instruments through the workforce of about 100,000. The industry is manufacturing and exporting both disposable and reusable instruments which constitute at 60% and 40% respectively of its total exports of surgical industry. About 80% of Sialkot’s surgical instruments are exported to United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Dubai, Japan, and Netherlands and 20% to rest of the world.
Exports from Sialkot
Almost every product of Sialkot is being exported to international markets due to which Sialkot is earning more than US$ 900 Millions per annum and its share reaches to 6% of the total exports of Pakistan. Sialkot is the second largest exporting city of Pakistan. Almost 60% of total exports of Sialkot are done via Sialkot Dry Port Trust and 40% is exported from other ports like Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, etc.