ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the government to focus on marble industry as this industry has the potential to transform Pakistan into a fast growing economy by promoting exports of marble and granite products. He said this while speaking at the occasion of oath taking ceremony of the newly elected office bearers of All Pakistan Marble Industries Association. Mian Gulzar Ahmed took oath as Chairman, Muhammad Bilal Khan as Senior Vice Chairman and Sheikh Iftikhar as Vice Chairman, All Pakistan Marble Industries Association. Sheikh Amir Waheed, President ICCI administered oath to the newly elected office bearers. Muhammad Naveed Malik Senior Vice President, Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI, M. Shakeel Munir, Saleem Mughal, Farukh Majeed, Khalid Mian and others were also present at the occasion.
Sheikh Amir Waheed said that all provinces of Pakistan including Baluchistan and KP have huge deposits of marble and granite reserves, but our marble industry was still using old quarrying methods due to which the standard quarry wastage in Pakistan was up to 73 percent of the gross produce and the country was suffering huge losses on this account. He stressed that the government should cooperate with the marble industry in introducing latest machinery and technology. It would help in producing value added marble and granite products and fetching billions of dollars in the country through enhanced exports.
ICCI President said that the global market for marble and granite was estimated at around $62 billion, but Pakistan’s share in it was below one percent. He said with the introduction of mechanized mining, Pakistan’s marble industry could achieve far better results and fast growth. He urged that the government should allow duty free import of marble machinery so that marble industry could be able to get latest machinery and technology and produce value added marble and granite products that would give boost to exports of this sector.
He said that China was importing raw marble and granite from Pakistan and after processing & value addition was earning huge profits. He was of the view that with the production of value added marble and granite products, marble exporters could bring billions of dollars in the country by enhancing exports. He said that the quantum of marble and granite exports could also be increased manifolds by establishing marble industrial parks in collaboration with China under CPEC to effectively utilise the valuable marble reserves of the country. Industrial parks will bring the cost effective cutting, blasting and finishing technology in Pakistan that will enhance the competitive edge of the industry and improve our exports, he added.
Speaking at the occasion, Mian Gulzar Ahmed Chairman, Muhammad Bilal Khan Senior Vice Chairman and Sheikh Iftikhar Vice Chairman, All Pakistan Marble Industries Association vowed that they would work hard for promoting the interests of marble industry. They said that they would develop close liaison with ICCI for resolving the key issues of marble industry. They also thanked ICCI office bearers for gracing the oath taking ceremony.