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Cutlery, in general, refers to all types of cutting instruments which may be used for industrial, commercial or domestic purposes. Cutlery products are generally classified into two categories namely kitchenware and non-kitchenware. The detail of products included in each category is depicted in table 1

Cutlery Products

Kitchenware Cutlery
8215 Spoons, forks, ladles, skimmers, cake-servers, fish-knives, butcher-knives, sugar tongs and similar kitchen or tableware.
 Non Kitchenware  Cutlery
 8208  Knives and cutting blades, for machines or for mechanical appliances.
 8211  Knives with cutting blades, serrated or not (including pruning knives), other than knives of heading 82.08, and blades thereof.
 8212  Razors and razor blades.
 8213  Scissors, tailors’ shears and similar shears, and blades thereof.
 8214  Other articles of cutlery (hair clippers, butchers’ or kitchen cleavers, choppers and mincing knives, paper knives); manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files)
 9307  Swords, cutlasses, bayonets, lances and similar arms and parts thereof and scabbards and sheaths thereof

Located in the traditional metal workmanship triangle of Punjab, is the town of Wazirabad where the major part of the cutlery industry of Pakistan is clustered. However, some of the cutlery manufacturers are present in Sialkot, Lahore, Karachi and Dir (KPK) also. One important segment of industry (shaving blades and disposable razors) is entirely situated outside Wazirabad.

The history of metalworking in the vicinity of Wazirabad dates back to the times when Alexander the Great invaded India but it was in the time of British when the craftsmen of this area were recognized for their skills in cutlery. In its early days the town used to produce arms and ammunition for British Indian Army. During the World War II, the industry in and around Wazirabad, was manufacturing arms and accessories like bayonets, karpans, knives, daggers, etc. for allied forces. After the World War II, the market for war related products dried up. Soon after, most of the Hindu businessmen left because of partition of India and with it a huge

Sub-continental market was lost. This industry, therefore, had to go through restructuring and diversification. The industry emerged out of the crises with product diversification and started manufacturing cutlery, knives of various kinds, blades, scissors, shears, daggers, swords, replicas of swords and knives for decorative purposes and kitchenware. Ever since, the industry has grown and has weathered many up & down swings.

The industry essentially comprises of SMEs. There are over 400 units directly associated with the manufacturing of different cutlery products out of which 15-20 units may be classified as medium. More than 150 cutlery manufacturers are members of “Pakistan Cutlery and Stainless Steel Utensils Manufacturers Association”. The total installed capacity of the cutlery industry is to the tune of 8 million pieces whereas the production is 4.3 – 4.5 million pieces, according to the aforementioned association. The direct and indirect employment of this industry is estimated to be around 25,000. The cutlery industry contributes 0.11% to the country’s GDP and has a share of 0.25% and 6.5% in total exports and engineering exports respectively. The industry occupies the domestic market space (90 %+) and very few items of cutlery, kitchenware and blades are imported.

The major raw materials used by this industry include stainless steel sheet, re-melted metals, brass sheets, densified wood, camel bones, steel wire and plastics. Among different grades of steel being used for cutlery is Damascus steel which yields best finish for the products. All the raw materials used by this industry, whether produced locally or imported, are easily available.

  • According to trade map data, the global imports and exports were US$ 10,727 million and US$ 9,571 million respectively for the year 2009.
  • The imports and exports of Pakistan were US$11.83 million and 52.88 million respectively for the same period.
  • The analysis of the data shows that Pakistan’s share in global exports is a mere 0.55% despite the potential.

The first Investment Policy by Board of Investment (BOI) was given in 1997 which opened services, social, infrastructure and agriculture sectors for foreign and local investors. It was a major step forward for integration of Pakistan’s economy into international markets as prior to this policy; foreign investment was restricted to manufacturing sector only. The 1997 Policy laid a solid foundation for the gains in FDI inflows experienced over the subsequent decade.

Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan increased by 2761.10 USD Million in 2016. Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan averaged 2651.26 USD Million from 2010 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 3184.30 USD Million in 2010 and a record low of 2099.10 USD Million in 2012.

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Pakistan has a fast-growing local produce and manufacturing sector tha accounts for major percentage of its exports.