GUJRANWALA, Aug 16: Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Sheikh Aslam has said that more than 20,600 industrial units of Gujranwala were playing an important role in the national economy while its exports last year exceeded $36 million.

He told Dawn here on Wednesday that sanitary fittings, textiles, plastic furniture, pots, room coolers and heaters, gas stove and agricultural tools and equipments were being manufactured which have been displayed in Made-in-Gujranwala exhibitions every year.

He said Gujranwala, Gujrat and Sialkot were ‘golden triangular’ of division which were playing important role in national economy which has been acknowledged by foreign trade delegations during their visits in city.

He expressed his concern over prevailing situation in Afghanistan and Iraq and claimed that export could be increased if peace restored to those countries as ceramic tiles, sanitary fitting and household appliances were very popular there.

Mr Sheikh said 500,000 workers have been deployed in the industrial units in Gujranwala while its share in national production was 9 per cent and in revenue 8 per cent.

He said British government had established tool and trade school in Gujranwala in 1881 for the promotion of local industries. Now the government has decided to set up dye and tool centre in city after 125 years.

He said Rs1,400 million would be spent on the construction of the tool centre.

He said dryport, corporate, farming and food-processing zones should be constructed to promote the industry.

He deplored that the government could not provide civic amenities in the city despite recovering Rs28 billion taxes. The roads and sewerage system in the city were in worst condition.

He suggested that smuggling of Chinese and other countries goods should be banned as local markets were suffering.

He apprehended that trade deficit of $11 billion could exceed if the local industrial units were not given protection by stopping smuggling.

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