STORY | The sports goods industry and diversification in Pakistan
Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Mr Arshad Javad Sandal, Chairman
The GSP+ scheme allows Pakistan a generous tariff regime with two-thirds of all product categories exported to the European market benefiting from zero duties. Accordingly, the GSP+ regime has proven to be an economic success story for Pakistan: exports to the EU have increased by 38% since 2014 when Pakistan was granted access to the scheme.
Sialkot- the capital of the country’s sports industry
Pakistan’s GSP+ success story is particularly visible in the city of Sialkot, the capital of the country’s sports industry. About 98 per cent of products manufactured in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises located in the city are exported to foreign markets. “These industries – particularly the sports goods industry – have been an important source of Pakistan’s foreign exchange earnings,” says Mr Arshad Javad Sandal, Chairman of the Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association. The sports goods industry is the city’s main export sector, engaging 400,000 people directly and indirectly and earning around EUR 1.7 billion annually. The preferential tariff regime provided under the GSP+ greatly contributes to the volume and value of Pakistan’s exports to the EU.
The GSP+ brings industry diversification
The GSP+ also brought with itself greater industry diversification: recently several units have started manufacturing mechanised footballs in Sialkot, under the newly established Sports Industry Development Centre (SIDC). The SIDC is working with vendors, private manufacturers, and exporters directly to help them meet the new challenges of global market demands. The new mechanised, thermo-laminated footballs are but one example of the recent diversification and innovation in the sports goods sector, accelerated by the GSP+.
Pakistan and the Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association are looking forward to cooperating more closely with the EU in the framework of the GSP+ scheme and benefiting from additional preferences under this regime.
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