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  1. New Trade Policy
  2. LCCI praises Federal Budget
  3. Siddiqsons Tinplate Ltd.
  4. Shipping: The key issues

All set to float Rs 160 million public subscription

July 19 - 25, 1999

Siddiqsons Tin Plate Limited, a joint venture between world's leading group of companies like Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan and Sollac of France and the local partners, has completed its homework to float public subscription for Rs 160 million shortly. The total paid up capital of the company is Rs700 million.

The public offer, being arranged by Jehangir Siddiqi, has come after a break of almost two years as the last company was listed at the board of Karachi Stock Exchange in early 1998. The public offer is likely to be welcomed by the investors in view of strong commercial viability of the project.

Waliullah Shah, the Executive Vice President of Siddiqsons told PAGE that the project, established at Windhar Industrial Estate, has many "Firsts" to its credit. It is the first and only project so far which has gone into production at Windhar Industrial Estate. The project is pioneer in tinplate production which is the basic raw material for packaging especially for canning industry. Giving the background of the project, Waliullah said "Siddiqsons Tinplate Ltd. is a joint venture between "Siddiqsons Group, Pakistan's Largest denim exporters and M/s Sollac of France world's third largest flat steel manufacturers and Mitsubishi Corporation of japan". The project, has a capacity to produce maximum of 120,000 tonnes of tinplate per annum. The product is primarily used for making cans and containers for packaging food, fruits, vegetables, fish, beverages and motor oil etc. Country's local demand for tinplate is estimated around 200,000 million tonnes per year. The project has started giving a significant support to the export sector particularly for fresh or perishable food items. The developed countries as well as other competitors exporting fruits, vegetables and other perishable items have standardized their packaging industry into a multi-disciplinary industry extending it all the way from production of packaging materials to the manufacture of filling installations. Under this scenario, immediate realization of international standards of packaging was of vital importance for our exports to remain alive and competitive in the world market. Since the tinplate has been accepted all over the world as an ideal material in all respect including friendly to environment, the timely arrival of this project is certainly appreciable and indicates the business knack of the sponsors. The project has also helped saving the cherished foreign exchange as previously there was no tinplate manufacturing facility in Pakistan and the entire demand was to met through imports. Pakistan had to import 200,000 tonnes of tinplate at a cost of $90 million in 1995-96. Instead of spending foreign exchange, the local manufacturers of edibles, paints and motor oil etc will have the facility of acquiring tinplates at their door steps for cans and containers for their products. The Siddiqsons Tinplate project has started to cater to the needs of canning industry and other container moulds which are to be used for food and fruit canning in the country. The target of commercial production of around 150,000 tonnes during 1999 has already been achieved. As the demand for the product increases in the local market and abroad, the sponsors of the projects have chalked out plans to add more products to the industry so that food, fruits, vegetable and fish produced in the country do not go waste. The project is expected to help increasing exports of the fresh fruits, vegetables and fish products to the tune of $1 billion. According to an estimate, vegetable and fruits worth Rs40 to Rs50 billion are destroyed every year due to non availability of infrastructure and preservation facilities in the country. This means that industrialists and other investors at large are either shy or they are not aware of the full potential of growth of this industry. This tinplate project will now supply basic raw material and naturally help in establishing down stream industry of canning to make possible exports of fruit and vegetables. Apart from exports of fish and fish products, Pakistan is exporting Kinoos, mangoes, tomatoes and other non-traditional perishable items but there is a lot of room for optimizing the massive potential of exports of these fruits through value addition. For instance, we can double the export price extracting and canning of juice from different fruits. Juice from one kg of Kinnoo can fetch $6-7 as against its current price of $3 in the international market. Similarly, due to unique taste of good quality mangoes of different varieties, produced in Pakistan, have competing edge over other countries in the export market. However, due to lack of facilities to preserve this valuable fruit, exporters were unable to get maximum advantage of this natural gift. The local production of canning material will certainly help optimize export earnings of mangoes and its juices.