INTERVIEW WITH CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARBLE INTERNATIONAL
Nov 1 - 7, 2010
PAGE: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: I got admission in Dow Medical College. However I did not continue my studies and decided to start my own business on my father's advice. When I joined the marble sector, it was a neglected sector. I tried to organise the sector by following simple and basic business principles. Due to my untiring efforts, I got success and fame in this field by the grace of God and now it is an organised sector which has happened because of the efforts of mine and my colleagues in the marble sector. Many new investors have entered in this field and many are extremely keen to invest. Besides all this, I am interested in acquiring knowledge in any field that is beneficial to mankind. Music is my passion and I enjoy listening to all types of good music.
PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ON EU TRADE CONCESSIONS FOR PAKISTAN?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: I have a different view about such concessions and other artificial acts. I believe in natural economical phenomenon and free trade, which are long lasting. However, the current concessions are good for improving our economy on temporary basis and this would help us introduce our goods in those European countries where we would like to enter. These concessions are mainly limited to some textile products. We should try for all types of products so that we may benefit from big European market, which is worth $3 trillion.
PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT MARBLE EXPORTS AT PRESENT AND IN FUTURE?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: Marble export is continuously increasing every year. Middle East is our major buyer. There is large scope of marble export in future in other countries specially Europe and USA. Quality of Pakistani marble is considered one of the best in the world.
PAGE: GIVE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT VARIETY OF PAKISTANI MARBLE:
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: Pakistan has a variety of marble and some types are unique and special available only in few countries such as green onyx, white, black and gold. Light can pass through the onyx and this is considered to be the quality of this type of marble. China and other countries are interested in our marble products, specially floor tiles and handicraft.
PAGE: WHERE DOES PAKISTAN EXPORT ITS MARBLE PRODUCT AT PRESENT AND WHICH ARE THE FUTURE MARKETS?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: Export increased by 46.35 per cent from US$ 22.119 million in 2007-08 to US$32.371 million in 2008-09. The major buyers of the products were China, Russian Federation, Ukraine, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Germany. America and Europe are the future markets.
PAGE: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO INCREASE EXPORTS OF MARBLE IN NEXT FIVE YEARS?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: To increase export, we require educating labour force for quality control and incentives by government are needed to facilitate exporters. Simplification of process and tax free zone can also be incentives.
PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT MARBLE CITIES IN PAKISTAN?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: Nature has gifted Pakistan with huge deposits of natural resources including marbles. We can turn these deposits into gold by proper mining and processing which can be done only in marble cities where modern machinery for cutting and polishing in an organised manner is proposed. Marble cities must be planned near mines, which will help in cost cutting. All this will lead to increase in export. Process of marble cities' development is very slow which needs to be accelerated.
PAGE: WHAT IS THE MAIN ISSUE OF THE INDUSTRY NOWADAYS?
NOMAN BAQI SIDDIQI: The main issue which needs attention is the quality mining and law and order situation in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which affect supply of marble blocks and indirectly exporters are perturbed. Pasdec is doing a good job in mining and marketing.