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Subject: Sialkot Exports Foodballs For Fifa World Cup, over Rs 8.5 billion
helix26    5/27/2006 12:19:17 AM
SIALKOT, May 26 (APP): On the eve of the FIFA Football World Cup 2006 to be held in Germany from June 9, over 55.8 million footballs worth more than Rs 8.5 billion have been exported from Sialkot so far. Local manufacturers and exporters engaged in the soccer ball industry are making hectic efforts to meet the demand of foreign buyers and ensure speedy and timely delivery of the consignments. According to business sources here, over 85 percent of the total production of soccer balls in the world comes from Sialkot, while all international brands are sourcing their supply of footballs from this export-oriented city and nucleus of cottage industry in the country. Over 40 million balls worth US $ 210 million are produced annually by some 60,000 highly skilled workforce of Sialkot, a city which enjoys a unique position in global trade with reference to sports goods. Its main forte is hand stitched inflatable balls, which have been produced for almost a century now, and are being exported to world markets by 1000 plus entrepreneurs. An added impetus has been provided as the local industry has been purged of the stigma of child labour. The stitching of soccer balls started in Sialkot during the 20th century with supplies sent to the British forces, but after independence the industry grew at an impressive pace, making the world recognize the formidable position of this city vis-a-vis its favourite sport. Today, almost all international buyers rush to Sialkot to secure their supply chains, building strong and long term business relations with the local exporters. In the 1980s, Sialkot gained ‘international celebrity’ status when it produced the ‘Tango’ ball used in FIFA World Cup in 1982, which led to further growth of the soccer ball industry. The success story of Sialkot based industries is based on the unmatched skill and craftsmanship of local workers. Business globe trotters of the world have recognised the potential of Sialkot as a matchless export-oriented city of Pakistan. With a century old industrial base, the city has developed an incredible export culture over the decades, and is contributing up to $ 800 million to the national exchequer annually. The exporters meanwhile continue efforts to double the export volume despite the increasingly tough competition in world markets today, to fetch valuable foreign exchange for the country. The development of cottage industries in Sialkot has assumed a model status for the developing world. The city is sprinkled with thousands of small and medium enterprises engaged in honouring their global export commitments for value-added quality goods including sports items, surgical instruments, leather products, gloves, musical instruments etc. At the moment however, the city is gripped mainly by football fever, with business activity at its peak in and around the city. A rush of cargo agents is witnessed at the Sialkot Dryport for clearance and dispatch of soccer ball consignments well before the commencement of the World Cup, while the Collectorate of Customs Sambrial has also extended the working hours of the export section and PRAL to facilitate exporters.
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TopGun       9/5/2006 5:18:47 PM
What a delightful story.  I never knew that footballs where made in Pakistan so I went and checked out my FIFA certified ball only to find out it has a Made in Sialkot, Pakistan tag in small print.  Im so impressed because its a very nice foot ball too!  It seems to me that Pakistan has potential to truly improve its image abroad as I feel the country suffers from poor public relations.  On a recent trip to South Asia, I had the opportunity to travel from Afghanistan, which is a nation utterly destroyed and in ruins, to Pakistan and then on to India.  I found quite a bit of difference BTW the two.  India, though having some pockets of development has a level of poverty and degradation I had never seen before and Ive served in Africa before!(Somalia) so it was quite shocking to see this image of India crumble before my very eyes.  Also the population and congestion was unimaginable, often at times I felt like fainting from the exhaust and the odour!  I had never seen humans in such a degraded state living beside others, who were 'middle class' so to speak yet where indifferent to the plight of unfortunate of which there are plenty!  Pakistan by contrast, while having many Asian traits, was pleasantly refreshing, its people hospitable, and with the exception of Karachi and possible one or two other cities especially during 'Rush Hour' did not have the same congestion.  Its infrastructure especailly the roads where in much better shape, and I generally felt an entrepreneurial spirity from everyone I met wether they were 4 year old street kids to 80 yrs old man pushing his cart in the bazaar. In pakistan, its a past time for people to give alms and was surprised to see that even those asking for help, where quite healthy nonetheless!  I truly believe the Pakistan has much potential to succeed, and strongly hope the US govenment helps this trusted ally of our out in the form of improving its economy, infrastruction, education, family planning as well as its conventional military and energy plans.  It has remained one of the US's strongest Muslim ally since the 1950's and deserves much better from us. Its economy should be assisted more, and I feel that its ideal geostrategic location bordering on 4 continents and having MFN status with all its neighboors make it the ideal hub for future investment in the region and a strong potential for being the next Asian Tiger, this all is very much possible as long there is stability and hopefully, a return to democracy.  
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Pakistan Power    Awesome   9/7/2006 11:57:22 AM
Respect to all the Sialkoti's !!!  They can make every sports equipment in the world imaginable in Sialkot. Even they make intruments like saxophones, drum, bag-pipes etcc.  truly a very ingenious people.  They are doing good work and marketing Pakistan and helping the economy!    Now they are building there own airport (with $$$ out of their own pockets). Pakistan Zindabad
Da zamong Laila Watan, Da zamong Zeba Watan, Pah mungh bonde der gran de, da Pakistan
Da Pakistan dushmanano ta wayam,  lig saat kay Khudai ba sta mulk tabah Krayyy!
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olive greens       9/7/2006 12:26:01 PM

Ive served in Africa before!(Somalia)

No doubt you learnt to respect Pakistan's prowess and began singing its tunes of glory there!!!

OG - What a pathetic poser!
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