The local sports goods manufacturing industry is one of the major source of foreign exchange earnings of Pakistan. It is centralized in and around the city of Sialkot, where it has flourished as a cottage industry with most of its production by generations of skilled craftsmen. At the time of independence, this industry was in an infant stage with a nominal export of Rs. 0.82 million. The Government took immediate steps to develop this industry by providing loans and subsidies to the manufacturers and arrangements were made to market the manufactured goods. Since then, the industry has flourished locally and enjoys good reputation in the international markets as well. It is a labor-intensive industry providing direct and indirect job opportunities to about 60,000 workers, While contractual jobs is a big part of this industry and comprises a big part of employment too.
Pakistan produces a wide range of sports goods, accessories, games and athletic equipment generally following the British, American and German specifications.
At present, Pakistan’s sports goods enjoy a world-wide recognition mainly because of the care that goes into their designing, manufacturing and selecting of the finest raw materials. The basic raw materials required for the production of sports goods, are leather, wood, glue, nylon guts, rubber and chemicals. Out of these, leather and various kinds of wood are abundantly available in Pakistan. The industry annually utilizes materials worth Rs. 8 billion including imported raw material. This industry is one of the major foreign exchange earners for Pakistan and is, therefore, receiving full government backing in its development. It is estimated that more than 75 per cent of the total production is exported every year.
In fact, the export demand has acted as the main stimulus for the rapid growth of this industry because of care that goes into designing, manufacturing and selecting of raw materials. There are two factors which are responsible of this.
(i) Low price as compared to general price level
(ii) Durability plus good workmanship
Export of sports goods increased from $136 million in 1990-91 to $384 million in 1997-98. Showing an average increase of 23 per cent annum
An extensive and continuous progress is show as every year is passed by for the sports industry and hence government has taken appropriate steps to further increase the export development regarding the sports goods of Pakistan.