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LAHORE: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and the Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) have inked an agreement today (Friday) aimed at advancing the sports industries in Pakistan through the Export Development Fund (EDF).

The signing ceremony, held in Lahore, saw the participation of key figures including Arshad Latif Butt (Chairman, Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers & Exporters Association-Sialkot), Raja Hassanien Javed (General Manager Outreach Division-SMEDA), Syed Abbas Mehdi (Executive Director-EDF), Muhammad Khalid Rasool (Director General, Punjab-II, TDAP), and Muhammad Sarwar Hanif (Project Director-SIDC), alongside numerous representatives from the local industry.

Under this agreement, TDAP has earmarked Rs93.586 million for the up-gradation of the Sialkot Industrial Development Corporation (SIDC). The allocated funds will be utilized to establish a modern manufacturing facility for Tennis Balls and Squash Balls.

SIDC, Sialkot, a Common Facility Centre established by SMEDA under the Ministry of Industries & Production, Government of Pakistan, has been instrumental in supporting the local industry by facilitating the manufacturing of various types of balls including Thermo ball, basketball, volleyball, and handball. The success story of SIDC reflects in the significant increase of approximately US$64 million in exports from Pakistan, coupled with a reduction of around US$25 million in bladder imports.

The up-gradation of SIDC, funded by EDF, is set to further enhance capacity for bladder production, introduce solar energy systems, and establish manufacturing facilities for Tennis Balls and Squash Balls. With an existing production capacity of 11,000 bladders per day, the up-gradation will add an additional capacity of 5,000 bladders per day, meeting market demands, bolstering exports, and reducing bladder imports. Additionally, the installation of a 230 KW solar energy system will mitigate energy challenges, ensuring smooth service provision at competitive rates to the local industry.

The introduction of state-of-the-art production setups for Tennis Balls and Squash Balls, each with a capacity of 300 units per day, will elevate the international standards of production and enhance the export performance of the local industry.

The up-gradation of SIDC is projected to yield an estimated export value addition of Rs10 billion in the coming years, while facilitating approximately 30 additional SME exporters and generating new employment opportunities. Furthermore, the implementation of solar energy systems will lead to substantial energy cost savings.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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