By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan will host first ever international exhibition and conference on cement in eastern city of Lahore from November 12 to 14.
“ More than 250 delegates from 20 countries including Germany, Switzerland , France , UK and China will participate in the event,” Farid Fazal, Senior Vice Chairman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) told a news conference in Lahore on Wednesday.
He said that cement production in Pakistan over the last decade had declined from 10 million tons to 4.8 million tons due to decreasing exports and government’s policies. “ Government is getting taxes worth Rs 195 on every 50 kg bag of cement being sold at a price of Rs 600,” he regretted.
He claimed that Pakistan was again poised to become one of the world’s best performing cement markets and among the top cement exporters in the region. Exporting cement and clinker to more than seventeen countries, Pakistan occupies a key geographic and geopolitical position in South Asia between Central Asia, Western China and the Indian Ocean, with connections to the GCC and East Africa and around globe.
Speaking on the occasion, Matt Owen, the representative of INTERCEM, said that cement was an essential element in both infrastructural and socio-economic development and Pakistani cement industry would play a central role in the realization of economic development activities. ”We are delighted to bring INTERCEM to Pakistan for the first time,” he said.
Much of the focus at the conference will be on increasing Pakistan’s cement and clinker exports, but delegates will also consider recent developments in the domestic sector and future forecast for both production and demand.
Matt Owen while linking growth in cement industry and CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), said, Pakistan’s rapidly developing economy was due both to its strong demographics, with a young, ambitious and urbanizing population, and also to the key role that the country will play in the realization of ‘One Belt One Road Policy’ (OBOR) . “The country is already seeing the benefits of the policy and has witnessed strong domestic demand which has led to further investment in the sector and increased capacity in both the North and South” he said.