With an estimated population of over 100 million people, Punjab is the largest province in Pakistan. As Pakistan’s most highly developed and industrialized province, the province is immensely important and ideally placed to reap the investment dividends emerging out of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The province contributes 60 percent of the national GDP. The average growth rate of Punjab’s GDP between 1999 and 2014 was 3.6 percent, higher than the national average for the same period. Punjab is also the best governed province in the country, with the current provincial government determined to foster a business-friendly environment. The Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, with the assistance of relevant government departments, has initiated the establishment of special economic zones in the province. The SEZs provide investors with attractive incentives and state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities. Along with CPEC, the SEZ’s will make Punjab into a lucrative market for investors in the coming months and years.
Lahore is the largest city in Punjab and the second largest in the country. The city’s nominal GDP was $13 billion in 2011. Its GDP is expected to reach $102 billion by 2025. The contribution of Lahore to the national economy is estimated around 13 percent. Lahore contains more than 10,000 industrial units and is the second largest financial hub in Pakistan.
Faisalabad is a major industrial hub, often referred to as the “Manchester of Pakistan”. Its GDP (PPP) in 2013 was $43 billion. It contributes over 20 percent of the national GDP, with an average annual GDP of $20.5 billion. The city is main center of the textile industry, accounting for more than half of Pakistan’s total textile shipments.
Gujranwala’s average contribution to the national GDP is approximately 5 percent. The city has over 5,000 medium and small enterprises. The city is a manufacturing center for fans, motor pumps, washing machines, cutlery and many other products.
Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan and the third largest in the country. It borders the capital city of Islamabad and has a population in excess of 3.2 million people. The main industries of the city include oil refineries, gas processing, steel manufacturing, iron mills and textiles.
Multan’s population is over 3 million people, making it the fifth largest city in the country. Its main industries include fertilizer, cosmetics, cotton production and flour mills. The city is in relatively close proximity to Bahawalpur, another important urban center in South Punjab.