Economy of Faisalabad
Faisalabad has a predominantly agriculture and industry-based economy and forms a backbone of Pakistan's textiles production sector. With a population exceeding 2 million, it is the country's third largest city. The area's status as the nation's industrial capital has allowed it essentially to experience rapid industrial development and nurture itself into a major growth center with high economic activity. This development has structurised all urban, semi-urban and rural industry throughout the region. Today, more than half of Faisalabad's population is engaged outside agriculture, letting a large number of villages and urban areas experience transition from agriculture to industries that are primarily export-based. The ongoing economic diversification has initially attracted migration from other parts of the country; merchants from surrounding districts also travel to Faisalabad frequently to engage in trade. Challenges which Faisalabad's economy currently faces includes gas and power load shedding, which has led to the closure and disruption of several textile and manufacturing factories.
Gross Domestic Product
A PricewaterhouseCoopers study released in 2009, surveying the 2008 GDP of the top cities in the world, calculated Faisalabad's GDP (PPP) at $35 billion. The city was third in Pakistan behind Karachi ($78 billion) and Lahore ($40 billion). Faisalabad's GDP is projected to rise to $37 billion in 2025 at a growth rate of 5.7%, higher than the growth rates of 5.5% and 5.6% predicted for Karachi and Lahore.
Faisalabad has a strong industrial base including textiles, jewellery, home furniture, chemical, food processing, soap making, paints, polymers and pharmaceuticals, assisted by the expanding transport network which includes newly built motorway and highways to Lahore, Multan, Sargodha and Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Faisalabad is one of the three planned cities of the country. The eight bazaars of the city each have different types of markets and goods.
Establishment of a dry port at Gatti, a few kilometres away from the main city has greatly boosted economic activities in Faisalabad by facilitating direct imports and exports of goods and cargo.
The rise of the middle class as a result of economic boom in the past decade has led to the construction of major malls and shopping plazas amid investment from the United Arab Emirates as well as many European firms. Faisalabad has been called the "Manchester of Pakistan" because it has a major impact on the economy of Pakistan. The city also generates 25% revenue for the trade and commerce activity of Pakistan.
Rise of a few good universities, many good professional schools and primary and secondary education schools by private sector has contributed a lot not only to the education sector but also to the economy of the city. Faisalabad Chamber Of Commerce and Industries plays a vital role in the development of commerce and industry in Faisalabad. Established in 1975, the organisation has been able to achieve several milestones for commercial and industrial development.
Faisalabad is also home to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, a body that represents the textile industry of Pakistan at all national and international forums. Mian Muhammad Mansha, an industrialist from Faisalabad has remained the chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association for a decade.
The district is unparalleled for its agricultural productivity. The area grew in importance as the grain belt of the Punjab during the wake of colonization. This led to the economic development of towns and villages within the district. Crops such as sugarcane, rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, fodder, vegetables and citrus orchards dominate the regional agriculture. To maximize profits and revenues, farmers may choose to grow high-demand seasonal fruits, vegetables and plant nurseries than the traditional all-year crops. From history, canal and irrigation services have constituted a vital role in boosting the agrarian economy.
Faisalabad's major export crops include the Kharif crops which include maize, rice, sugarcane and bajra as well as the Rabi crops which include wheat, barley, gram and barseen. In addition to these, there are also Zaid Kharif and Zaid Rabi crops. Zaid Kharif crops are toria, raiya, sarsoon and Zaid.
Rabi crop is tobacco. The use of tractors is becoming popular and is fast replacing the conventional ploughs. Improved varieties of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides have greatly increased per-acre yield and with that the prosperity of the peasant community which has toiled for three generations to transform a barren land into verdant fields. The Faisalabad district is famous for its fruit production. Important fruits are oranges, bananas, apples, sugarcane, tangerines, mandarin, mango, guava and Faalsa. The total area under fruit orchards is 34,517 acres (13,969 ha).
Before Pakistan's independence there were only five industrial units in Faisalabad, but now there are numerous textile mills, engineering units and chemical and food processing units. Other industries include hosiery, carpets and rugs, nawar and lace, printing and publishing, and pharmaceutical products. There are also several thousand household industries, including some 60,000 power loom factories. The richest man of Pakistan and the owner of MCB also belongs to this city. Local companies include Sitara group, Manno group (Rafhan foods), Crescent group, and Ibrahim group (owner of Allied Bank). Karachi and Faisalabad have the highest population growth rate in Pakistan.
Chemicals, Dyes & Textiles
Faisalabad exports a large quantity of chemicals to international markets. As well as the textile industry of Faisalabad constitutes more than 65% of the textile export market of Pakistan, which itself forms 58% of total exports from Pakistan. This makes Faisalabad’s share of total exports from Pakistan more than 40%. Following are some major industries of Faisalabad:
- Sandal Dyestuff Industries Limited
- Sitara Chemical Industries Limited
- Ibrahim Fibers
- Sitara Peroxide Limited
- Klash (Pvt) Ltd.
- Sitara Energy
- Rafhan Maiz Products Co. Ltd.
- M.N. Chemical Industries (Pvt.) Limited
- H.M.F. Enterprise Limited
Faisalabad has some hi-tech pharmaceutical industries of international standard. Some of which are detailed below:
Besides traditional industrial base of Faisalabad, the city has diversified a lot in other commercial activities. Banking sector has gained a lot of ground in the economy of Faisalabad. All the local and National banks have their regional corporate banking head offices in Faisalabad. A number of international banks like City Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclay's Bank, HSBC have their commercial banking operation in Faisalabad. In addition to banking, insurance sector has also boomed a lot in the city. State Life Insurance, Eastern federal Union Insurance, Jubilee Insurance, AIG Insurance are a few to name as the major player in Faisalabad. Education has stepped up as another major contributor to the economy of the city.
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Faisalabad has its own dry port situated at Gatti, which is located on the Grand Trunk Road the main industrial strip of Faisalabad, which has greatly boosted the economy by direct imports and exports of cargo. The industries have access to international markets for export of their finished products. There is a special wing made for shipment of Foods & Medicines in refrigerated container to European and Gulf countries, operated by private firm at Faisalabad Dry Port Trust.
Faisalbad formerly known as Lyallpur is bounded on the North and West by Hafizabad Jhang and Toba Tek Singh districts respectively. In the East it touches Sheikhupura district and in the South it is bounded by the river Ravi across which lies Okara district. It is an important transportation and commercial center especially for grains cloth and ghee (clarified butter). Manufactures include textiles pharmaceuticals chemical fertilizer bicycles textile machinery hosiery flour sugar vegetable oil and soap. The city was founded by Sir James Lyall c.1895 and named in his honor.Faisalabad terminal was started on 20 February 2002.
Faisalabad district has 2.1 million population and print media is playing significant role to provide information and news locally and nationally. The newspaper such as The Daily Express, and Daily Dunya are the national newspaper published from Faisalabad. The other most read regional newspaper in Faisalabad is Daily Business Report followed by other regional newspaper such as Daily Shelter, Daily Awam, Daily Aman, Daily Tajarti Rahber, Daily Paygaam and the Daily Surrat-E-Haal. Weekly Lyallpur Akhbar is one of the oldest newspapers in district of Faisalabad. As a source of agriculture media this newspaper was established in 1933 and still serving rural and agriculture business communities. Cinemas have fallen in number in the city. The lack of interest in English and Lollywood-related films has caused many cinema halls to close down and many owners to invest in other forms of entertainment. Punjabi stage dramas are still quite popular among residents, and there are still some theatres operating quite successfully. The DAWN Media Group, State-owned Pakistan Television (PTV) transmits five terrestrial and cable television channels. There also a number of private television channels that have offices in Faisalabad including Express News, Geo TV, Apna Channel and Punjab TV. The radio industry has expanded with a number of private and government-owned FM channels being introduced. The FM radio channels that broadcast in the city include the government-owned Radio Pakistan.
According to the World Bank's Doing Business Report of 2010, Faisalabad was ranked as the best place do to business in Pakistan and the second best location, after Islamabad, to start a business in.
- "PricewaterhouseCoopers Media Centre". Ukmediacentre.pwc.com. 1 June 2005.
- Naz, Shamsul Islam (19 March 2002). "Canals, distributaries in deplorable condition". Dawn (newspaper).
- "Faisalabad best place to do business in Pakistan". The Express Tribune. 30 June 2010.