While peace problems and corruption are the thwarting economic growth of the country, Pakistan can still capitalize on its mineral resources for economic gain. Marble is among the top precious natural sources of income and only in the latter half of the year 2008, Pakistan’s marble export rose to over $17.5 million against the $9.6 million a year ago.
The global demand for Pakistan’s marble, which is considered one of the best qualities in the world, is increasing. Saudi Arabia’s projects for building new cities are the latest in view, implying great potential of purchasing Pakistan’s marble on a large scale. Saudi Arabia also has plans for erecting the world’s tallest building (around 1000 meters tall) while close to 300 civil construction projects are already either in progress or in design across the Saudi kingdom. All this construction means a great amount of profit for Pakistan via the export of its high-quality marble.
The government has fixed the target for marble export at $35 million for 2008-09. In the next 5 years, marble export is expected to increase to about a billion dollars – a great boost for Pakistan’s economy. However, certain challenges need to be overcome as well; the main challenge being the power crisis in the country which is hindering the processing of raw marble in the marble factories. Updating the machinery and technology for enhanced performance of the marble industry is another major requirement. Together with granite (used in construction); marble leads the list of Pakistan’s economically viable mineral deposits.