LAHORE - All Pakistan Ceramic Tiles Manufacturers Association (APCTMA) has welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment to reduce the cost of doing business and improve country's ranking in the ease of doing business index.

Spokesman of APCTMA applauded PM for his vision he shared with the newly constituted Council of Business Leaders and said that tile industry has the potential to support PM’s vision.

He said the government’s intention to take various business friendly measures like reduction in duties and developing a national tariff policy to remove anomalies in the existing tariff structure will certainly help Pakistani economy grow. “Specially, the tile industry can grow and become export-oriented industry if the government supported it to make local tiles internationally competitive,” he added.

With direct and indirect employment of over 50,000, the local tiles industry can capture more export markets. However, domestic manufacturers continue to suffer owing to their higher production costs and uneven competition from cheaper imported products.

Owing to high input costs including gas prices (Rs 600 to Rs.780 per mmbtu), locally produced tiles are finding it hard to compete in local and global markets.

“Moreover, huge influx of smuggled tiles and imports at lower valuation, which capture approximately over 40 percent of the country’s tile market, is hurting local manufacturers despite producing quality products that are comparable to top global tiles manufacturers,” said the spokesman.

“We urge to government to support the local tile industry, which can be an import substitution industry and its development will stimulate the economy by uplifting the construction sector and job creation,” he concluded.