Overview of Pakistan Industry

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Overview of Pakistan Industry

By | April 2008
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Mining and quarrying account for a small percentage of gross domestic product and of total employment. Manufacturing, however, accounts for a healthy proportion. The beginning of the main industrialization effort dates to the cessation of trade between India and Pakistan in 1949 soon after the two countries gained independence. Initially it was based on the processing of domestic agricultural raw materials for the home market and for export. This led to the setting up of cotton textile mills—a development that now accounts for a large part of the total employment in industry. Woolen textiles, sugar, paper, tobacco, and leather industries also provide many jobs for the industrial labour force. The growing trade deficit in the mid-1950s compelled the government to cut down on imports, which encouraged the establishment of a number of import-substitution industries. At first these industries produced mainly consumer goods, but gradually they came to produce intermediate goods and a range of capital goods, including chemicals, fertilizers, and light engineering products. Nevertheless, Pakistan still has to import a large proportion of the capital equipment and raw materials required by industry. In the 1970s and early 1980s Pakistan set up an integrated iron and steel mill at Pipri, near Karāchi, with the financial and technical assistance of the Soviet Union. A new port, Port Qāsim (officially Port Muhammad Bin Qāsim), was built to bring iron ore and coal for the mill. Initially Karāchi was the centre of Pakistan's industrialization effort, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s Lahore and the cities around it began to industrialize rapidly. Karāchi's ethnic problems in the late 1980s and early 1990s accelerated this process, and Punjab increasingly became Karāchi's competitor in industrial output.

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