Syed Murtaza Mahmood, Federal Minister for Industries and Production said that the government would go all out to provide all possible support to the marble sector so that it could grow better and play a more effective role in the economic development of the country.
He said that the marble sector’s exports of USD 37 million were much below its actual potential and stressed to take them to at least USD 370 million. He emphasized that the marble sector should focus on better marketing of its products to increase their trade and exports.
He said this while addressing as Chief Guest an Awareness Seminar on Marble & Granite Sector Development organized by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with Pakistan Stones Development Company.
Iftikhar Ali Shallwani Federal Secretary Ministry of Housing and Works, Khazar Farhadov Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of Azerbaijan, H.E.Mohamed Karmoune Dean of African Corps and Ambassador of Morocco,
Ambassador of Indonesia Adam M. Tugio, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan, Deputy Head of Mission of Kazakashan and representatives of Turkish & UAE embassies were also present at the occasion.
Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Federal Minister for Housing & Works said that Pakistan was mostly exporting raw marble and stressed that the marble sector should focus on value addition and branding of its products to improve their exports. He said that promoting brands was important to compete in the international market.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan has huge potential to promote the exports of marble and granite products, but the government was not providing any support to this sector.
He said that over 200,000 marble units were working in the country and the government should facilitate the introduction of the latest technology & machinery in this sector to produce valued added products and increase their exports. He said that the government should arrange railway cargo service from mines to ports that would reduce transportation cost and help improve their exports.
Ms. Shamama Tul Amber Arbab, Chairperson, Pakistan Stone Development Company said that holding an awareness seminar on marble & granite sector was a new beginning and a series of such seminars would be conducted with the stakeholders to promote this sector.
She said that the government should help in introducing the latest cutting & finishing machinery in the marble sector to improve exports of this sector. She said that the government should also set up an apex body for the development of the marble sector in coordination with provinces.
Mohamed Karmoune, Dean of African Corps and Ambassador of Morocco highlighted the potential of marble exports to the African market.
Brig. (Retd) Babar Miraj Shami, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Stone Development Company highlighted the initiatives of his company for the development and growth of marble & granite sector in the country.