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Cement exports to India, Logistics issues, non-tariff barriers should be removed.

KARACHI, April 23, 2011 (Frontier Star): All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has urged the government to resolve logistics issues and non-tariff barriers with the Indian government in the upcoming trade talks while developing road network for transhipment of cement to India ensuring additional cement exports of over $500 million. A spokesman of APCMA said that Pakistan is already exporting cement to India through sea and train but the plants located in the northern part of Pakistan (where the bulk of cement is produced) cannot export by Sea due to high inland freight whereas limited capacity of train allow limited exports. Moreover, train movement involves double loading/unloading and storage requirement at Lahore which allows only limited quantity transportation thereby restricting the exports to India, he added. He said that India is already importing clinker and gypsum from Pakistan by road through trucks; therefore cement can also be exported similarly. Exporting cement by road is feasible for Pakistani exporters as well as for the Indian buyers in bordering provinces as they will get higher quality cement at much cheaper rates, he added. In fact, India has built a special loop/corridor on their roads to facilitate transport of heavy goods laid in vehicle which our government is also requested to do. APCMA spokesman said that obtaining quality certification from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is a major issue for Pakistani exporters as BIS issues licenses for a year or maximally two years to the exporters after visiting the factory premises and carrying out lab tests. BIS conducts a mandatory quality inspection visit once in two years' time before it can issue renewal. He said that the recent scheduled inspection visit of BIS representative to Pakistan has got delayed for more than six months as all Indian officials have to seek approval from their Ministry of Interior and the process takes a long time. Moreover, BIS inspector refused to visit four of our cement factories including Attock Cement, Cherat Cement, D.G. Khan Cement and Kohat Cement for unknown reasons, he added. He suggested that the procedure of obtaining quality assurance certificate should be simplified by the Indian authorities and once the certificate is issued by BIS, it should be considered valid forever and in order to ensure that the quality has not deteriorated, BIS may conduct quality inspection by engaging any international inspection firm operating in Pakistan such as Moody International, SGS etc or they can get the quality of exported cement checked in any Indian laboratory. Governments all over the world go an extra mile to grab potential export markets for their domestic industries, stated APCMA spokesman, hoping that the Pakistani government would do the same.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 23, 2011
Words:450
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