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Pakistan’s sports goods and global image

Researchers recorded that Pakistan is exporting a large portion of its sports goods from Sialkot to international famous brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Lotto, Umbro, Mitre, Micassa, Diadora, Wilson and Decathlon. They also recorded that in the country no doubt sports goods industry plays a vital role in foreign trade of sports goods. Now, this industry is exporting its products to dissimilar estates globally. These products are manufactured to export according to requirements of foreign targeted markets.

Due to better quality of sports goods Pakistan’s sports items gain foreign fame. Because of its well production process starts from adaptation of raw material to delivering to customers. This process involves better selection of raw material, designing of goods, production process and timely delivering to customer. Today the Pakistan’s sports goods are being explained by the following statistics.

  1. During FY2015-16, sports goods posted a slight fall of 1.6 percent in value during July-March FY2016 against the corresponding period last year; while on month-on-month it registered a growth of 2.3 percent in value. The export of football during July-March FY2016 grew by 3.2 percent in value and 17.4 percent in quantity, but on month on month it enhanced by 2.6 percent in value and in quantity fell by 4.8 percent.
  2. During FY2016-17, in case of sports goods, major item export of football recorded a fall of 9.7 percent against 7.2 percent fall in quantity terms explained that prices were not favorable in international market.
  3. During FY2017-18, sports goods recorded a slight raise of 0.5 percent in value during July- February FY2018 against the corresponding period last year. Football with a share of 0.7 percent in total export rose both in quantity and value by 15.8 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, on account of an innovation driven football making company which maintained the largest global presence with renowned global brands, organizations and Pakistani football was used in FIFA World Cup 2018.
  4. During FY2018-19, sports goods declined in value by 9 percent on the back of 7.35 percent fall in exports of football.

Furthermore, the sports goods industry in the country is chiefly clustered around the city of Sialkot which accounts for nearly 95 percent of the industry’s total production. The location of this cluster is largely a result of agglomeration economies with Sialkot being the center of excellence for the production of sporting goods for greater than 100-years. This has been attributed to the availability of skilled artisans and entrepreneurs in the city, which also possesses favorable indicators in literacy, health, electricity and water facilities. In addition to this, Sialkot also benefits from the availability of basic infrastructure for industry including a dry port and an international airport which serves as an export hub for manufactured goods.

 

Experts also recorded that sports goods producers in Sialkot are predominantly small and medium sized firms comprising over 360 formal and over 10,000 informal units. The main sports goods produced can be divided into 5 categories that include articles and equipment for physical exercise/gymnastics/athletics, articles and equipment for fishing, sports gloves, articles and accessories for billiards also articles for funfair. Among these, articles for gymnastics/athletics and articles for funfair have been the key drivers of the sports sector’s growth in global market.

Furthermore, Pakistan is considered a leading manufacturer of football, cricket balls, hockey sticks and cricket bats. Around the world these products enjoy market recognition. Statistics showed that this industry has therefore been an integral part of Pakistan’s economy offering employment to 300,000 to 350,000 skilled and unskilled laborers. In addition to this, the sector also represents roughly 1.42 percent of Pakistan’s total export base. In spite of the current and potential significance of this sector to Pakistan’s economy, it remains mired in difficulties because of limited opportunities for growth. For instance, most of the firms in Sialkot fall under the commercial exporters’ category which have minimal staff and resultantly operate with a very short term orientation, facing high failure rates.

In addition to this, the present energy crises have adversely affected the sector’s competitiveness and have been a serious impediment to its overall growth. Therefore this industry has failed to perform to its capacity and hence faces a fall in its share of sports goods exports. Although Pakistan’s sporting goods have enjoyed a good reputation globally, the industry has failed to convert this into a sustainable and growing share in the global market, with Pakistan accounting for less than 1 percent of the total globally sale of sporting goods.

Statistics also revealed that previously Pakistan’s global exports rose more than 100 percent from US$7.5 billion in 1999 to US$18 billion during 2009. This is evident in the stark differences between the average market share of exporting goods of China and Pakistan. However, a greater cause for concern is that in present years, not only has Pakistan’s share of sports goods exports fell, the sector has also registered the highest negative annual growth of exports relative to its competitors.

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