A Shanghai-based company has pledged $150 million to establish an industrial park in Lahore for the housing of dyeing machines, high-end fabric units, and garment production facilities.
Managing Director Chen Yen, who is also the top official leading the project under the Shanghai Consortium Challenge Apparel, expects the Industrial Park to become operational by July 2022.
She stated that the first wave of its sportswear exports is projected to garner as much as $120 million in revenue in the same year, with recurring readjustments to the supply chain to increase that number to $400 million within the next 18 months or so.
While discussing Chinese prospects in Pakistan, MD Chen Yen declared,
Our plan is to make Pakistan the hub for our polyester-based sportswear exports. Our Chinese operations in Shanghai and Hubei have customers like Adidas and Reebok who’re willing to come to Pakistan if we’ve capacity here. We’ll bring Pakistan new business. We’re a different breed and our product line is new for Pakistan.
She also compared the unit prices between China’s and Lahore’s exports through Challenge Apparel, and suggested that the “difference in unit price isn’t about value-addition; this is all about the quality of the fabric. Fabric is the key to higher unit prices”.
As compared to China, the garments manufactured by the Shanghai-based company through its Lahore-based operations fetch an average price between $8-10, while the same goods manufactured in China sell for $20 per piece on average.
The MD plans to bolster the company’s Lahore-based operations with the upcoming industrial park for better returns on the back of the increased export volume. The new venture is expected to aid the employment sector as well, with the existing venture on Multan Road employing around 3,000 workers, including 28 Chinese nationals.
The new project is aimed at boosting textile exports from Pakistan to some of the busiest markets in the world and is reportedly probably a first-of-its-kind foreign direct investment (FDI) for Pakistan’s export industry.
Besides this project, the Chinese company has other vested interests in Pakistan, with the firm already operating the Challenge Apparel textile unit based on Multan Road near Lahore. This production line had fetched nearly $45 million in export revenue during the previous calendar year.