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January 15, 2020

TDAP suggests developing soccer ball institute


January 15, 2020

KARACHI: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has proposed developing a soccer ball institute in line with international standards to improve product quality and promote its exports.

The authority conducted a study on the sports goods export of Pakistan to identify potential products and the potential markets.

The study identified soccer ball as a potential product in the sports goods cluster after thorough analysis of the sector.

The study also suggested establishing an alternative raw material solution for the industry as most of the material for the professional ball was imported, thereby increasing the production cost, vulnerability and volatility.

“A thorough strategy should be devised to control the prices in short-term, and in the long run an alternative of raw material imports such as phthalate-free PVC, Raxzin and other synthetic

material should be established indigenously such as NAFTA cracking plant, which can use residuals of local oil refineries to produce raw material required for many industries such as PVC (Phthalate vinyl chloride),” it noted.

TDAP also highlighted potential market opportunities based on demand and market share of the inflatable ball, thereby suggesting the US as a potential market.

“Additional event-based markets are also suggested such as Qatar for FIFA World Cup, 2022 and Japan for Olympics games 2020. Moreover, EU as a whole is seen as a potential market due to club football such as European Leagues, Champions League and Premier League,” the study suggested.

Pakistan’s sports goods sector is an established name in the world of sports goods, especially for its soccer ball production which accounts for 14 percent share in the international market. Many of the world-renowned brands like Adidas, Puma, and Nike have established their supply chain with vendors from Sialkot for quality match ball and practice ball.

The soccer ball industry of Pakistan has long been criticised for losing its share in the international market to other suppliers due to changing market demand and its resistance to adopting modern manufacturing technology.

But it once again came back into the spotlight when the Chinese supplier failed to come up with the demand of extra soccer balls for “The World Cup Rio de Janeiro by Adidas in 2014”.

Similarly, in 2018 “FIFA World Cup Russia” once again a Pakistani producer received the honour to provide the match ball that was made in Pakistan called “Telstar 18” which represented the country as the match ball of FIFA World cup.

The study notes Pakistan’s ranking has improved along with its market share, although it has not captured a considerable market share, but with the shrinking market share of China and its trade war with US there is an opportunity for Pakistan.

Moreover, Vietnam seems to be the emerging player replacing China in this market as it has captured a significant market share of 16 percent in a short period. In 2013, its share was only 7.3 percent.