Islamabad: The September 11 terrorist attack in the US has declined the production of sports, surgical and leather goods manufacturing factories of export-oriented Sialkot city to 45 per cent, reported Dawn.

The office bearers of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) told Dawn that in spite of peak autumn and winter seasons for leather jackets, no new orders were received from Europe and the United States.

The citizens, in Germany and European countries, were directed not to travel to Sialkot which led to the cancellation of several orders. Many buyers had also returned from Karachi, as per Dawn.

Dawn is a Pakistan-based English-daily.

The traders said that the companies in Sialkot were required to operate around-the-clock to satisfy the demand of overseas customers because the sale of leather jackets increased in September in Europe and the USA. Instead, they said that leather manufacturers were only operating at 50 per cent of their capacity and that a widespread layoff of labourers and expert personnel was anticipated.

In light of the looming prospect of war, they claimed that exports of leather clothing for the winter and spring seasons would also suffer significantly.

Similar to other industries, there was a severe downturn in the surgical equipment sector because there were no export orders coming in from overseas customers.

To address their customers' worries about war in Pakistan, exporters have agreed to meet their foreign clients, as per Dawn.

They claimed that the suspension of international flights had a negative impact on Sialkot's exports.

Additionally, the exporters had been heavily impacted by the USD 100 per container levy that shipping companies demand as a war risk premium. They said that it was strange that India had been excluded despite being in the conflict area and that the war risk premium only applied to Pakistan and Iran.

Exporters also appealed to the EPB to take up the matter with the government so that the war risk levy either be withdrawn or reduced to a reasonable level, Dawn reported,