Exploitation of mineral sector can enhance exports, boost growth | The Express Tribune


ISLAMABAD:

The government should focus on the development of the mineral sector to exploit natural resources for promotion of trade and exports and economic growth, said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir.

Speaking to a delegation of All Pakistan Mines and Minerals Association on Thursday, he said that Pakistan had huge reserves of minerals and the country possessed world’s second largest salt mine and coal deposit.

In addition, the country also enjoyed fifth-largest copper and gold reserves and massive deposits of marble, granite, gemstones, chromite, gypsum, iron ore, lead, zinc and bauxite, he said.

Munir pointed out that many countries including China, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Brazil had exploited their mineral sector effectively for economic development, however in Pakistan, appropriate attention was not paid to the sector.

He was of the view that the neglected segment had tremendous potential to promote the economy.

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Through the mineral sector, Pakistan can earn billions of dollars in export earnings, he said.

The official highlighted that India’s gems and jewellery exports stood at $29 billion while Brazil’s mineral exports breached $36 billion mark in the fiscal year 2019-20.

“The promotion of the mineral sector will benefit Pakistan’s economy in multiple ways as it can improve trade and exports, increase employment and income level, attract domestic and foreign investment and accelerate economic growth,” said Munir.

Munir urged the government to address all key issues of the mines and mineral industry to unleash its true potential for economic development of the country.

He assured the visiting delegation that ICCI would highlight the issues of the segment on relevant forums for smooth resolution.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2021.

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