ICCI calls for focusing on mining and mineral sector to promote exports

  • November 02, 2023
Pakistan has huge reserves of mines and minerals including the world’s second largest salt mines & coal deposits, fifth largest copper & gold reserves, huge reserves of marble, granite, gemstones, chromite, gypsum, iron ore, lead zinc, bauxite etc. and the government should focus on better development of this sector to fully exploit these natural resources for promotion of trade & exports and economic growth. This was said by Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) while addressing a delegation of All Pakistan Mines and Minerals Association that visited ICCI led by its Chairman Meer Behrose Regi Baloch.

ICCI President said that many countries including China, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Brazil have exploited their mineral sector effectively for economic development, but in Pakistan this sector has not been given proper attention despite its tremendous potential to promote the economy. He said that Pakistan could earn billions of dollars by this sector. He said that promotion of the mineral sector would bring multiple benefits to the economy as it would improve trade & exports, increase employment & income level, attract more domestic & foreign investment and accelerate economic growth. He urged that the government should address all key issues of the mines and mineral sector to unleash its real potential for economic development of the country. He assured the delegation that ICCI would take up their highlighted issues at the relevant forums for their redress.

Speaking at the occasion, Meer Behrose Regi Baloch, Chairman, All Pakistan Mines and Minerals Association highlighted various issues being faced by the business community of the mines and mineral sector. He stressed that the government should focus on improving the regulatory framework as procedural delays were creating hurdles for potential investors. He said that the government’s support was also needed for infrastructure development, technological upgradation, access to finance, human resource development and marketing to facilitate the better growth of this sector. He said that the government should ensure dedicated and friendly banking products for mining and processing sub sectors. He said that lack of proper roads network upto the mines, utilities and industrial zones were the key factors behind low investment and poor growth of the minerals sector and stressed that the government should address these issues on priority basis.

Zafar Bakhtawari, former President ICCI and Secretary General UBG Pakistan said that outdated technology was still in use in the quarrying and processing sub sectors due to which production of value-added products was an issue. He urged that the government should cooperate in introducing the latest technology and mechanized mining in this sector to enable this sector to produce valued added products and enhance exports.