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EVOLUTION OF PLASTIC INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN

1947 - Pakistan is founded. Hand molding machines are reported to be operating in Lahore, an industrial
hub of the sub-continent even today.

1950 - First era of auto manufacturing begins in Pakistan with heavy investment by American automaker
General Motors. In 1972 when all industries were nationalized only 20% of domestically produced auto
parts were being used. Share of locally made plastics parts was negligible.

1953 - First plastics and polymer research center created with the establishment of Pakistan Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in Karachi. Plastics resin is sold for Rs.3.05 per pound in local
markets.

1962 - First Apprenticeship Ordinance is introduced in the country.

1963 - Average prices of plastics resin move up only 90 Paisas in ten years. Exports Promotion Bureau is
created.

1965 - Pak Swiss Training Center (PSTC) is established by PCSIR in collaboration with Swiss Foundation
for Technical Assistance to impart training in precision and mechanics and instruments technology.
Following 17 days war with India, new avenues for plastics in defence needs open up.

1966 - Arkoy Chemical Industries becomes the first unit in Pakistan to manufacture PVC pipes.

1967 - Famous brand of PVC pipes "Galco" is introduced in local markets.

1968 - Heavy quantity of polyester is used in shirts made from "Karolin" cloth. These Shirts become
popular among the young generation.

1970 - Pakistan switches to international system of measurements. Plastics Resin instead of pounds is
now sold in grams, and a decrease in prices is noted.

1971- Government begins to compile statistics of imports. Plastics raw materials imports are recorded at
30.7 million rupees. With Indian interference in East Pakistan, supply of jute is interrupted. Alternates are
sought and nylon products become widely popular. War breaks out between India and Pakistan in
December and East Pakistan becomes the independent State of Bangladesh.

1973 - 120% increase is recorded in the prices of plastics resins in 20 years. Plastics products worth
0.465 million are exported for the first time.

1976 - 30% decrease in the wholesale prices of plastics raw material is recorded in domestic markets.

1977 - "Rahber" a brand name of Plasticrafter, manufacturers of water coolers creates uproar in the
country. Rahber continues to dominate the market for next ten years.

1978 - Auto industry declines and activities at all manufacturing facilities come to a standstill.

1980 - Pakistan Plastics Manufacturers Association is formed. The association is registered with the
Ministry of Commerce in the month of May.

1982- Poly Industries sets up a cast acrylic and polystyrene sheet plant at Hub, Lasbella, some 35
kilometers west of Karachi.

1983 - Second era of auto making begins in the country with the introduction of Suzuki FX 800CC car.
The car dominates the local market for next six years.
1984 - The Federal Chemicals & Ceramics Cooperation Limited (FCCCL) and Fecto in a joint venture
submit a detailed feasibility study and application to government authorities in January for setting up a
20,000 tpa PVC resin plant at Kala Shah Kaku near Lahore. Gatron (Industries) Ltd sets up a plant to
produce polyester filament yarn, polyester chips and later PET resin.

1986 - Government gives a formal approval to FCCCL in January for the PVC plant, but
for some unknown reasons the plant could not be set up. Transpak Corporation (PVT) Ltd becomes the
pioneer of PET bottles in Pakistan. Annual growth of PET bottles is reported at twenty five per cent for
next five years.

1988 - Plastics Technology Centre (PTC) is established by FCCCL with the assistance of UNIDO at
Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi. With the inauguration of the centre in October, polymer sciences
education begins in Pakistan, which later on provides highly qualified and skilled manpower to the plastics
industry.

1989 - Styrene production begins at Pak Styrene Industries. Pak Suzuki Motor introduces new models of
"Mehran" and "Khyber".

1991 - PTC starts short polymer courses of three months duration. Member's strength with Plastics
Association increase to 250. Six different plastics associations are formed. Demand and growth of PET
rises 30%. More companies enter the field of PET bottle manufacturing.

1992 - Fixed Sales Tax or Capacity Tax introduced. Pak Suzuki Motor introduces "Margala" 1000CC car
in domestic markets. Carbonated soft drinks, mineral water, agro chemicals and cooking oil became fields
where nearly all the PET bottles are consumed.

1993 - One and 1.5 liter PET bottles become widely popular. More companies set up
PET bottle manufacturing units and within 3 years the number of such companies exceed 30. Indus Motor
Company sets up Toyota Corolla assembly plant in Karachi.

1994 - PTC gets affiliation from University of London. In October PTC starts one-year certificate courses.
Pakpetro Chemicals starts production of HIPS near Karachi.

1995 - The number of plastics processors increase to 6000. Central Board of Revenue announces
abolishment of Capacity Tax from next financial year. Plastics industry under capacity tax scheme paid
30.7 million Rupees more tax than it paid under Ad Val Orem scheme. Five percent excise duty is levied
on plastics industry. PPMA in collaboration with PTC organizes one-day seminar on mold making.

1996 - PPMA Lahore zonal office launches monthly plastics magazine "Plastics News", but ceases
publication after five issues. Government announces to abolish Capacity tax and instead introduce Value
Added Tax. Board of Investment said that Japanese company Mitsubishi Corporation is interested to
invest in PVC sector. Pakistan becomes largest buyer of Dubai's plastics products. PPMA appeals the
government to abolish excise duty and continue capacity tax for another few years. First batch of 10
students complete their 2-year diploma course from PTC.

1997 - PPMA member's strength reaches 700. An 80-member plastics delegation visits India. Due to
government's economic package domestic products become costlier than imported items. World Bank,
PPMA and National Development Finance Corporation hold talks to phase out CFC gases. World Bank
and PPMA hold one-day seminar on CFC. Prices of resins grow 1000% in local markets in 45 years.

1998 - Plastics industry grows at 17.5%. Indian High Commission refuses visa to 70-member PPMA
delegation. Fire guts Karachi's plastics wholesale market in October, goods worth over US$100 million
were reduced to ashes and more than 350 shops were destroyed. Plastics industry protests abolishment
of Capacity Tax and close their units for indefinite period. Cbm becomes the first plastics unit to obtain
ISO 9002 certificate. World Bank approves a grant of US$ 2.3 million for thermoware industry of Pakistan.
CBR exempts customs duty and sales tax on machinery imported for Ozone depleting substances (ODS)
phase out projects.

1999 - Engro Asahi Chemical with an investment of US$80 million set-up 100,000 tons PVC plant at Port
Qasim. Pak Petrochemicals starts production of HIPS. "Plastics News" re-launched in Lahore, but again
goes out of circulation within four months. General Sales Tax on electric power and gas hits plastics
industry. Demand of Pakistani plastics products grows in India. Japanese government under grant-in-aid
provides 706 million (US$ 14 m) for moderation of work-shop facilities at Pakistan Industrial Technical
Assistance Centre (PITAC). Export Promotion Bureau overlooking local industry imports 20,000 plastics
fish crates for Karachi Fish Harbour. Government lays down rules for the levy and collection of Extra
Sales Tax at 5% on the suppliers and manufacturers of certain plastics goods.

2000 - Sindh government impose a ban on polyethylene bags in Karachi and Hyderabad. First exhibition
on auto-parts held in Karachi. Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts & Accessories suggest that auto
parts industry be declared specialized highly value-added industry with seven years incentives. Five
percent excise duty abolished on plastics industry. The use of polyethylene bags by the food department
to store wheat causes a loss of Rs.200 million to the government.

2001 - First batch of BE Engineers pass out from PTC. Exports of naphtha reaches US$ 50.6 m. First
directory of plastics industry is published in Karachi. Implementation of ODS project begins.

2002 - Central Board of Revenue restricts clearance of any plastics scrap without a certificate from
Chamber of Commerce. The government of Pakistan approves an "Upgradtion of Plastics Technology
Centre" project with a capital cost of Rs.455.00 million with the assistance of Japan. PPMA organizes a
three day plastics exhibition in Lahore.

2003 - Polypropylene import increases by 68% in one year. Chinese goods flood Pakistani markets.
Japan External Trade Organization holds a workshop on mold making. Fauji Polypropylene Products puts
its assets on sale. Ministry of Environment launches advertisement campaign in local newspapers
discouraging use of polypropylene bags.

2004 - PPMA organizes second (local) exhibition in Lahore. First international plastics exhibition held in
Karachi. Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority presents its study for rehabilitation of
PVC industry to the government. Macpac Films Ltd, manufacturers of multi layer co-extruder packaging
films offer 10 million ordinary shares through an initial public offering.

(This article is contributed by Mr. F. Chaudhry, Pakistan)