Peshawar - To advance the marble and mining sector with a contemporary approach, undertake collaborative research, and address the challenges faced by stakeholders in this industry, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the All Pakistan Marble Industries Association (APMIA).
The agreement was formalized in a signing ceremony held at the chamber house, where Ijaz Khan Afridi, the Acting President of the Chamber, and Asghar Khan, Chairman of the All Pakistan Marble Industries Association (APMIA), affixed their signatures to the document. In addition to the representatives from the All Pakistan Marble Industries Association (APMIA), the delegation comprised Shafiullah, Ahmad Shah, and Zafar Ali Kundi. The SCCI Secretary General, Sajjad Aziz, along with officials from the Research and Development Cell of the chamber, were also present during the MoU signing ceremony.
Asghar Khan briefed the Acting President of the Chamber, Ijaz Afridi, on the crucial role played by the marble sector in driving economic development and generating substantial foreign exchange through exports. However, he highlighted that individuals involved in the marble sector were encountering financial challenges in adopting modern mining techniques, machinery, and methodologies. He put forth a range of proposals aimed at fostering the growth of the marble sector.
In response, Chamber President Ijaz Afridi assured the delegation that the concerns pertaining to the marble sector would be effectively communicated to relevant government departments and promptly resolved. He acknowledged the considerable potential and marble reserves present in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Nevertheless, he noted that the sector had not been modernized in line with its potential due to insufficient awareness, technical support, guidance, and financial limitations within the province.
Afridi emphasized that the marble sector stood as a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings, generating billions of rupees through exports, while concurrently creating job opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and across the nation. He urged the government to adopt practical measures in addressing the challenges faced by the marble sector and emphasized the necessity of modernizing both the marble and mining segments.
The Chamber’s President further stressed the significance of producing high-quality marble through effective cutting and polishing processes. This, he noted, would enable substantial foreign exchange earnings from marble exports to Central Asian Republics and other global destinations, thereby stabilizing the national economy and fostering additional employment opportunities.
Reaffirming the commitment of the SCCI, he assured the delegation that the issues they raised would be effectively advocated with relevant governmental authorities at both central and provincial levels.