Pakistan is close to taking the lead in the global salt trade, as local rock salt of Khwera is set to be registered with international trade bodies.
This will prevent Indian traders to market Pakistani rock salt like Himalayan Pink Salt. The federal cabinet recently approved that Pakistan Minerals Development Corporation (PMDC) will be the registrant agency for rock salt produced in the country. The PMDC has finalized requirements for registration of rock salt with the Geographical Indications (GI) registry, under the management and control of the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan). After registration with IPO-Pakistan, the country will file for registration at foreign markets.
The GI rules were formulated in January this year in the country that had been pending for around two decades, but traders from neighbouring India took advantage of the vacuum and applied for GI tagging of Basmati rice in the European Union, claiming that it was an agricultural produce of India.
PMDC Managing Director retired Brig M. Iqbal Malik said Pakistan has branded the Khewra salt as “Pink Rock Salt” and its specifications were being finalised.
“Currently, rock salt was neither a lucrative commodity for exports nor was Pakistan selling the rock salt as a commercial and industrial product,” he said, adding: “Soon after the GI tagging at international markets, Pakistan will be in a position to sign long term sale contracts with buyers abroad.”