Lahore:The Sialkot Business Council (SBC) has been launched as a business policy advocacy & execution platform by the 13 largest private-sector institutions, industrial & export-oriented associations to pave the way for the quick and speedy establishment of Allama Iqbal Business Park in Sialkot announced by the PM in his recent visit to the city, besides doubling exports in short-term.
The SBC will be a professionally-run organization headed and assisted by a full-time convener and secretary, who will work closely with relevant provincial and federal governments’ departments, ministries, regulators and other organizations and professional bodies to explore the new venture of industrialization in Sialkot.
The member bodies of SBC included Sialkot Chamber, Sialkot International Airport, Sialkot Dry port Trust, AirSial Company, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporter Association (PHMA), Surgical Manufacturers Association, Gloves Manufacturers Association, Sports Goods Manufacturers Association, Leather Garments Manufacturers Association, Sialkot Tannery Zone, Cutlery Manufacturers Association and Pakistan Steel Import & Traders Association.
PRGMEA Central chairman Sohail A. Sheikh and chief coordinator Ijaz Khokhar welcomed the formation of Sialkot Business Council on recommendation of Special Advisor to PM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar and provincial minister Ch Muhammad Akhlaq who held a first meeting, taking all the chairpersons of the 13 bodies onboard. They unanimously announced to support the formation of this platform, endeavoring to further promote exports from Sialkot, creating more investment and employment through establishment of new industrial units in the town.
“Our main object is also to increase export from $2.5 billion to a $5 billion just in a couple of years as our short-term target,” observed Sohail A. Sheikh.
He said that Allama Iqbal Business Park would be located on 1000 acres of land to also facilitate the golden triangle cities of Gujrat, Gujranwala and Wazirabad along with Sialkot. Multiple industries will be structured in line with the Chinese model which will also attract the foreign investment with a view to establish JVs in various sectors, he added.
Sohail Sheikh said that Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Sialkot had advised the business community to prepare the proposal of SBC for its submission to the commerce and industry ministry, followed by a joint meeting of the stakeholders with the PM himself in the chair to discuss more details in this regard.
“During Imran Khan’s visit, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, PM advisor Razaq Dawood and Industries Minister Hammad Azhar had assured the SCCI president Qaisar Baryar and the all businessmen of their full support to acquire the land and infrastructure of these projects,” he added. He said that business community has shown satisfaction over the positive attitude of commerce advisor and especially his easy accessibility for all.
Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that the purpose of this SBC platform is also to promote the environment-friendly and green industry, equipped with HR training institutes, human skill development centers, water and chemical treatment plants, small vending industrial units as well as the labor colonies.
“PRGMEA had also requested the PM for the establishment of Sialkot Garment City on the land of 100 acres, which would be a state of art industrial area, having green factories and complete buildup units to facilitate the SME sector, he said and added that the same proposal already existed in the upcoming textile policy of 2020-25.
Sohail Sheikh said that a common display center and Expo would also erected for the exhibition of goods, manufactured in these triangle cities.
He said that the SBC would also prepare the proposals of quick, short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions with a view to grow export and enhance industrial production, besides executing these vital industrial projects.