Service Long March, Pakistan's first steel radial truck and bus tire plant, started operations recently, marking a new stage in Pakistan's tire manufacturing industry. It is a star project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and One Belt and One Road.
SLM, founded by our company and Pakistan's Service Industries Limited, opened in 2019. The $250 million project mainly produces steel radial tires for trucks and buses and aims to meet the robust demand of the transportation market.
At the inauguration ceremony of the joint venture, Pakistani President Arif Alvi thanked all the executives who were involved in the "truly unique project".
"This will eventually provide 85 percent of the production capacity of tire products and earn foreign exchange for Pakistan. It will provide employment opportunities for thousands of people," he said.
"Our project not only promotes the development of tire-related industries in Pakistan but is also helping Pakistan to develop national standards," said Li Qingwen, chairman and general manager of our company.
He said the project will fill the gap in Pakistan's domestic all-steel load radial tire production and attract more industries related to tire production.
Under the leadership of OBOR and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistan's economy has grown rapidly in recent years. The freight industry, which is mainly based on automobile transportation, has driven up the market for steel-belted radial tires.
However, because of a lack of technology and investment, Pakistan's tire production capacity has lagged. Industry insiders said the country spends $300 million to $400 million annually to import steel radial tires.
"Last year, my colleagues and I went to China to learn tire production technology, which was new to us. With the help of Long March tire engineers, we are now training Pakistani operators. We will produce high-quality tires in the joint venture," said Yousaf Muhammad Usman, an employee of Service Long March Tires Private Limited.
Song Yanlin, director of Liaoning Department of Commerce, said that "the venture is one of the successful cases of outstanding enterprises in Liaoning province to explore the international market and actively participate in the construction of One Belt and One Road."
Li Hongbiao, a senior researcher at China Northeast Revitalization Research Institute, said the project is a big success for Liaoning.
"Due to the strategic relationship between China and Pakistan, China has helped Pakistan invest in and build a lot of infrastructure. The success of Lang March will introduce more Chinese companies and benefit both sides."