Sialkot the most business city in Pakistan

Sialkot  is a city in Punjab, Pakistan. Sialkot is Pakistan’s 12th most populous city, and is part of north-east Punjab — one of Pakistan’s mostly highly industrialized regions Sialkot is believed to be site of ancient Sagala, a city razed by Alexander the Great in 326 BCE, and then made capital of the Indo-Greek kingdom by Menander I in the 2nd century BCE  a time during which the city greatly prospered as a major centre for trade and Buddhist thought.

Wealthy City

Sialkot is wealthy relative to other cities in South Asia, with an estimated 2014 per capita income of $2800 (nominal).The city has been noted by The Economist for its entrepreneurial spirit, and productive business climate. The relatively small city exported approximately $2 billion worth of goods in 2015, or about 10% of Pakistan’s total exports.Sialkot is also home to the Sialkot International Airport  Pakistan’s first privately owned public airport.

3d view of Siialkot city
3d view of Siialkot city

Economy

Sialkot is a wealthy city relative to the rest of Pakistan and South Asia, with a per capita income in 2014 estimated at $2800. As of 2015, Sialkot exported US$2 billion worth of goods which is equal to 9% of Pakistan’s total exports (US$22 billion). 250,000 residents are employed in Sialkot’s industries. Most enterprises in the city are funded by family savings. Sialkot’s Chamber of Commerce had over 6,500 members in 2010, with most active in the leather, sporting goods, and surgical instruments industry.

Sialkot is the world’s largest producer of hand-sewed footballs, with local factories manufacturing 40~60 million footballs a year, amounting to roughly 60% of world production.The 2014 FIFA World Cup’s footballs were made by Forward Sports, a company based in Sialkot.Clustering of sports goods industrial units has allowed for firms in Sialkot to become highly specialised, and to benefit from joint action and external economies.Leather for the balls is sourced from nearby farms. There is a well-applied child labour ban, the Atlanta Agreement, in the industry since a 1997 outcry, and the local industry now funds the Independent Monitoring Association for Child Labour to regulate factories.

Sialkot is also the world’s largest centre of surgical instrument manufacturing. The surgical instrument industry also benefits from clustering. The industry is made up of a few hundred small and medium size enterprises, supported by thousands of subcontractors, suppliers, and those providing other ancillary services.The bulk of exports are destined for the United States and European Union.

The Sialkot International Airport, funded by local businesses, is the only private airport in Pakistan.

Notable people from Sialkot

  • Muhammad Iqbal, Ph.D Doctor, Titles: Sir & Allama, Mufakkir-e-Pakistan, One of the founders and President of All India Muslim League in 1906 as well as Poet of the East
  • Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Poet
  • Waheed Murad, actor
  • Zaheer Abbas, cricketer and President of ICC
  • Ghulam Ali, Ghazal singer
  • Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Current Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Former Federal Minister of Defense & Federal Minister of Water & Power
  • Rajendra Kumar, Film actor
  • Ijaz Ahmed Famous Cricketer
  • Shoaib Malik, Former captain of Pakistan Cricket team
  • Umera Ahmed, novelist and author, and screenplay writer born in Sialkot.
  • Gulzari Lal Nanda, politician and economist,
  • Chaudhry Amir Hussain, politician
  • Khawaja Muhammad Safdar, Former Acting President of Pakistan
  • Kuldip Nayar, Indian Journalist

Amjad Islam Amjad, Poet