Tannery zone in Sialkot approved


ISLAMABAD: The Export Development Fund (EDF) on Monday approved a project to establish a tannery zone in Sialkot in an attempt to adapt to climate change by relocating tanneries in leather industrial zone.

The project will be implemented under the supervision of Punjab’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the technical and financial assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisa­tion (Unido).

The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the project would help boost procurement orders from Pakistan by addressing the concerns of international buyers who often expressed alarm at the environmental issues caused by the tanning industry.

The EDF’s board of directors at its 70th meeting also approved several other projects to promote the country’s exports.

The meeting, chaired by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, also approved holding of road shows in the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in May to showcase Pakistan’s products in pharmaceuticals, textiles, sports, surgical goods, agricultural products and auto parts.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) plans to hold these exhibitions in a single visit in the first half of May before Ramazan to help increase Pakistan exports to these countries.

The commerce minister said that the Central Asian countries had considerable imports in these sectors from around the world, with nominal quantity from Pakistan.

These road shows would provide the private sector to establish business-to-business linkages and capitalise on the opportunities emerged in the wake of trade diplomacy of Pakistan, he added.

The board also approved the project put forward by the Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan to purchase hi-tech machinery to bring sophistication and modern technology in the production methods.

It directed TDAP to work in collaboration with the EDF secretariat, port authorities and officials of Anti-Narcotics Force to establish digital scanning equipment at the ports.

Mr Dastgir added that in order to enhance export facilitation, the ministry aimed to replace the time-consuming, physical checking of export consignments at the ports with swift and efficient scanning through machines.

The board was informed by the president of the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the land for the construction of Expo Centre in the city had been selected and the chamber was in negotiations with the provincial government for land transfer.

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