Pakistan's proposed business centres to boost exports

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Ministry of Industries, Production and Special Initiatives has decided to set up business centres in all the major cities aimed at enhancing falling exports.

By Our Correspondent

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Published: Mon 2 Jul 2007, 9:02 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:10 PM

Official sources said that a plan has been finalised for establishing these centres which would manufacture international quality products particularly through value addition.

Initially three centres — Sialkot Business & Commerce Centre, Products Development Centre For Composites Based Sports Goods in Sialkot and Gujranwala Business Centre, Gujranwala- will be set up at cost of about Rs1 billion besides having a Cotton Seed De-linting Facility at Rahim Yar Khan during the next financial year.

The federal government has agreed to provide funding through new PSDP to the ministry of industries to help set up these centres as part of the infrastructure projects. According to the details, for Sialkot Business & Commerce Centre the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) will sign an agreement with Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry for stipulating arrangements for the operation of the centre.

The Centre will help manufacture export quality products for which Sialkot is known internationally as producer of sports goods, surgical instruments, leather garments, gloves & accessories, sportswear, musical instruments, electro platting industry, sanitary ware, ceramics, domestic electric appliances, cutlery, stainless utensils and rubber goods industry.

The local craftsmen produce products while export oriented entrepreneurs ensure that products reach international destinations. Around 400,000 people are engaged directly or indirectly with export activities and annual earning of the city hover around $1 billion which is now expected to be further increased through value addition.

The main objective of the Centre will be the establishment of a shared display facility for whole of the Sialkot industry and to promote and export of products from Sialkot based industries. The centre will help meet the necessity of modern era businesses by having presence on international business map through exhibitions and fairs.

The centre will serve the purpose of the economics of scope & scale and capaitalising on new linkages and developments. It will comprise of consultancy services, international business linkages, entrepreneur training, business support, management and technical support financing for marketing and product development, women entrepreneur development and child labour and social development constraints.

These services will be free of charge and those entrepreneurs who do not have exposure to such business development activities would be provided with guidance so that they can properly utilise these services.

The Product Development Centre for Composites Based Sports Goods centre will set up by SMEDA at a cost of Rs383.43 million to help design and development of dies and moulds, product testing (physical and chemicals), provide skilled workforce to the sector, enhance productivity by providing technical consultancy services to new and existing industrial units, help develop imported machinery locally through reverse engineering and facilitate in increasing exports of composite based sports goods.

The ministry of industries believes that export oriented SMEs clusters in Pakistan have a huge potential for further development and are also crucial to SME sector growth of the country. Sports good sector is the main export sector of the city with total exports of over $350 million annually.

Gujranwala Business Centre will also provide advisory services to the businessmen to have improved manufacturing products and value addition for increasing exports.

Cotton Seed De-linting Facility, Rahim Yar Khan, which will cost Rs163.63 million, will provide de-linting facilities for various varieties of cotton seeds. The centre will be equipped with latest laboratory to provide testing and analytical facilities to farmers like seed germination testing, moisture testing etc. It will facilitate the seed business volume of Rahimyar Khan. It will be the first unit in Rahimyar Khan to provide services to growers and seed companies that are interested in processing on their own seed for commercial selling. Farmers will have better seed, de-linted through an advance technology based plant. It will increase yield per acre and leads to more benefit to farmers. The project will also instigate private investors to establish such more plants and it may end the crude method of de-linting that caused wastage and low productivity.

At present more than 130 seeds corporations are working in Rahim Yar Khan and are engaged in sale of de-limited seed. Currently, there is no de-linting facilities in this area, whose services people can hire to get their job done. These private companies either use conventional methods (reduces 10-15 production) or send their seed bags to kabirwala plant for de- linting process. It is estimated that in every season tonnes of seed goes from Rahim Yar Khan to Kabirwala, which cost millions of rupees to the companies.

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