Web Desk. Pakistan is on the verge of achieving significant success in the global salt trade as the local mountain salt ‘Khwera’ is about to be registered in the international trade bodies.
According to the Dawn newspaper, after this move, Indian traders will not be able to sell Pakistani mountain salt Khwera as ‘Himalayan Pink Salt’.
The Federal Cabinet has recently approved that the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) will be the registered agent for mountain salt produced in the country.
The PMDC has finalized all the legal requirements for registration under the Geographical Indications (GI) administered and controlled by the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan). Under IPO Pakistan, the country will submit its application for entry into foreign markets.
In January this year, the country enacted GI rules that had been pending for nearly two decades, but traders from neighboring India took advantage of the gap and applied for GI tagging of basmati rice in the European Union. Claimed that this agricultural product belongs to India.
PMDC Managing Director (Retd) Brigadier M Iqbal Malik said that Pakistan has declared Khwera salt as ‘Pink Rock Salt’ and its features are being finalized.
He said that at present mountain salt was a profitable commodity for exports and Pakistan mountain salt was not being sold as a commercial and industrial product.
He added that immediately after the tagging of GI in the international markets, Pakistan would be in a position to enter into long-term sales agreements with overseas buyers.
By chance, the term has been used by Indian traders to refer to the global marketing of mountain salt from Khwera. However, the export of salt to India has also suspended after the suspension of non-essential goods trade with India about two years ago.
“There is no sales policy for mountain salt, so most of the salt is exported from the Middle East in mountain form.”
Ahmed Khan, a Karachi-based salt trader, said mountain salt was in high demand globally, not only as table salt but also as a healing agent in massage centers in Korea and Thailand.
Ahmed Khan said that most of the salt business was in the hands of small traders and investment was required for packing and other value addition but without any policy, small traders could not take loans from banks.
He also said that Indian traders prepare the salt purchased through UAE in attractive packaging and export it at huge prices to the European Union, USA, and even to the Far East. He said, “The label states that the salt is a product of the Indian Himalayas.”