The Pakistan Glass Manufacturers’ Association (PAGMA) has welcomed the recent decision of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) that the glass manufacturing industry producing exportable goods is eligible for financing under the SBP long-term financing facility (LTFF).

A representative of the sector said high production costs in the country are ‘a major impediment’ preventing its glassmakers from being competitive in the international market.

Prices of soda ash, electricity and furnace oil are higher in Pakistan than in the Middle East, reported the representative. He added that following the LTFF, the export-oriented sector would grow through developments in technology and investments in modern equipment.

According to the SBP, financing for plant, machinery and equipment used by the glass sector for producing exportable goods will also be eligible under the LTFF scheme.

The industry representative suggested that production could even increase if ‘impediments’ such as the high cost of inputs, non-existence of strict anti-dumping laws, special concessions in customs duty on imports of some glass products and other matters are resolved in favour of the glass sector.

Pakistan exports glassware products to the United Arab Emirates, Iran, South Africa, Tanzania, Oman, Bangladesh and Belgium among other countries.