While addressing the local industrialists and exporters at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here, Mr. Wouter Plomp said that Pakistan had great potential to promote not only its industrial sector but its agriculture as well due to its huge fertile lands and an effective system of irrigation based on so many rivers and canals.
Recently, Punjab Industrial Estate Development Management Company (PIEDMC) announced that it is currently working on a feasibility study for establishing a state-of-the-art industrial estate zone in Sialkot at 2,000 acres.
According to PIEDMC Chairman Syed Nabeel Hashmi, Sialkot being Pakistan’s largest sports and surgical goods exporting hub — has no regular industrial estate. Therefore, PIEDMC has been trying to tackle this issue on a priority basis in an attempt to bring together this major industry at one place to help boost Sialkot’s exports and provide it with a congenial environment.
To address the industrial needs of the country, major economic zones are needed and that is why industrial estates at Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, Okara and other cities are also being planned, he added.
PIEDMC – Punjab Industrial Estates Development & Management Company – is a section 42 company incorporated under Companies Ordinance of 1984. It is an autonomous, not-for-profit entity owned by the Government of Punjab and is run by a Board of Directors (BOD) comprising of private sector industrialists and ex-officio members.
Sialkot is home to around 1,500 major and over 10,000 small industrial units which are scattered around the city and its suburbs. Though the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce had also raised this issue time and again, no one till now has bothered to establish an industrial estate to gather all these industries at one place and that is why PIEDMC has stepped in.
PIEDMC Chairman Syed Nabeel Hashmi further said that he plans to install as many as 700 major industrial units at the estate as the city has two main industries — sports and surgical — which also outsource manufacturing of various items to the small industry/vendors.
The country needed economic zones consisting each of 5,000 acres or so in various parts of the country. Three meetings have been held by the PIEDMC board so far to finalize plans related to estate development in Sialkot and other cities, he said.
According to a spokesman for the PIEDMC, a piece of land measuring 1,000 acres has initially been identified near Sohawan Wali on Sialkot motorway for launching the project.