Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BOI) is weighing the prospects of preparing a summary aimed at banning the export of cement so that local availability can be ensured.
Irfan Amanullah, Company Secretary, Attock Cement Pakistan, while disclosing this, said that this step could be taken if cement exports to Afghanistan continue to negatively affect the domestic price line of cement. Presenting an overview of Pakistan’s cement industry at a training seminar organised by ACE Securities (Pvt) Ltd, the other day, Irfan said mega projects like Gwadar Port, Makran Coastal Highway, two flyovers in Karachi, Lyari Expressway and Northern Bypass have helped push the demand for cement in the country.
Pakistan is poised to export cement to the UAE following a successful entry into the market of Qatar, he added. He forecasted that the construction of Kalabagh Dam alone would result in the booking of the entire annual production of cement - produced by factories in the country’s northern zone.
Irfan was quite critical of the non-construction of a specially designed, cement jetty at Port Qasim, which according to him, has caused a delay in the loading of cement cargo and resulted in high costs to Pakistan’s cement producers as compared to those of India. He however appreciated the role of the Export Promotion Bureau, which has taken up the issue of establishment of the Jetty with the countrys policy makers.
Irfan mentioned that Iran has banned its cement export, giving Pakistan an opportunity to enhance its share of cement exports to Afghanistan. He mentioned that Iran has a natural advantage of land-link with Afghanistan; therefore "it is exporting cement to Afghanistan comfortably".