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Ministry of Commerce takes measures to enhance exports of surgical instruments

ISLAMABAD: Being quite alive to the growing importance of surgical instruments in the international market, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is taking numerous measures to promote exports of Pakistani manufactured surgical instruments.

Surgical instrument manufacturing industry originated in the early 1940s in and around the city of Sialkot. The sector manufactures a wide range of medical, surgical and veterinary instruments exporting 80-90 % of its production. Pakistan has a history spanning over a century of skilled craftsmanship in manufacturing surgical instruments. This has over the last few decades combined with modern equipment and manufacturing technology to produce surgical instruments of the highest quality which are exported to over 140 countries around the world.

“MoC has fixed mark-up rate support of 1.5% on Export Finance Scheme (EFS) on selected export sectors including surgical” a source at MoC told Customs Today, adding that Ad-Hoc relief @ 3% of Free on Board (FOB) to offset the impact of higher cost of utilities for Pakistani exporters in surgical sector along with others has been granted.

The sector comprises over 2,300 companies, of which around 30 can be considered large and the remainder can be split as 150 units of medium sized and remaining as small. The industry produces on average over 150 million pieces a year with an estimated value of around Rs 22 billion. Out of the total production, approximately over 95% is exported.

Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is undertaking various export promotional activities through trade exhibitions and delegations for promotion of surgical goods in Germany, United States of America, Kenya, South Africa, Malaysia, South Korea. UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Due to the measures taken by the MoC and TDAP, Currently, Pakistan captures only 0.75% of the total world market of surgical instruments. Most of the major export destinations of Pakistan are in Europe and USA. As the main focal market in this study is India so above pie chart shows that Pakistan exports 1.77 percent of its total exports in this sector towards India.

As Pakistan is already capturing some shares in Indian market so by overcoming the weaknesses and removing the non-tariff barriers in Indian market Pakistan can raise its exports towards India Meanwhile, these measures can help to defend Pakistan’s surgical sector in case of liberal trade with India in future.

It is pertinent to note here that in 1958, the Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan was established with an aim to protect and promote the art of surgical instruments manufacturing and to help solving the problems of surgical manufacturing community.

Surgical Association has 3000 members firms more than 500,000 workers are grossly engaged in manufacturing of Surgical Instruments to meet the export commitments in the International Market. Association represents manufacturers and exporters of Surgical Instruments, Electro Medical Instruments, Body External Fixation Systems and Implants, Micro Surgery Instruments, Cardiovascular Instruments, Endoscopic and Gynecological Instruments, ENT Instruments, Respiratory Aid Instruments, Orthopediac Instruments, Holloware, Anesthesia Products, Hospital Furniture, Dental Instruments, Veterinary Instruments, Personal Beauty care Items and Beauty Saloon instruments.

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