The sports goods manufacturing sector of Pakistan boasts of a rich history and a vibrant manufacturing base. Initially rising as a cottage industry, the sector now consists of well-developed manufacturing units in and around Sialkot city of Punjab. Over the time, Sialkot and its adjacent areas have developed into a cluster for manufacturing sports goods, banking on historical knowledge and availability of skilled craftsmen. The flagship product for this cluster is the inflatable ball (mainly soccer ball) which has played a large part in gaining the area international recognition. Pakistan caters to almost 70% of the global demand for inflatable balls. Other products being produced in Sialkot region are cricket bats, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, indoor games and protective gear including sports clothing, gloves, pads etc.
The analysis of production processes of various sub-sectors indicates the need of courses in almost 20 trades or skills. Some of these courses are already being offered at existing TVET institutes, while the rest are completely unexplored. The most recommended trades are Screen Printing and Graphic Designing, Sublimation Printing, Rubber Technology, Pattern Making, Gloves Machine Stitching, Composite Technology, Digital Marketing and Lean Production System. The recommendations section includes details of the needed courses, skills and the various options available for collaboration by PSDF (Punjab Skills Development Fund) in the area.
- Over half of the export value consists of inflatable balls, while some 30% of sports gloves and the rest of other items including cricket bats, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, cricket balls, hockey balls, tennis balls, protective gears, martial arts and gymnastic equipment, etc. In number terms, some 50 million inflatable balls, 38 million pairs of sports gloves and millions of other articles are exported from Pakistan each year.
- Export destinations for sports goods include Germany, USA, UK, France, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Denmark, Canada, Belgium, Australia, South Africa, UAE and Chile, etc.29
- The giant global football brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma and Reebok, etc. actually are not the producers themselves; rather they get footballs produced from various developing countries due to their product quality and cost efficiency. Pakistan, China and Thailand are the major hubs for this and jointly contribute 70% of total export of footballs. Pakistan’s main competitors in sports goods market are China, India, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Thailand and South Korea.
The first Investment Policy by Board of Investment (BOI) was given in 1997 which opened services, social, infrastructure and agriculture sectors for foreign and local investors. It was a major step forward for integration of Pakistan’s economy into international markets as prior to this policy; foreign investment was restricted to manufacturing sector only. The 1997 Policy laid a solid foundation for the gains in FDI inflows experienced over the subsequent decade.
Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan increased by 2761.10 USD Million in 2016. Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan averaged 2651.26 USD Million from 2010 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 3184.30 USD Million in 2010 and a record low of 2099.10 USD Million in 2012.