ISLAMABAD: The financial viability of Pakistan’s first aluminium beverage can manufacturing plant has been put to test within first month of its inauguration as the company expects stiff competition from duty-free imports of the same product from Sri Lanka under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
In order to cope with the anticipated flood of cheap goods from Sri Lanka, the company has now sought a three-time reduction in customs duty on the import of raw material to remain competitive in the market.
Pakistan’s free trade agreements with China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have made many local industries uncompetitive. Experts have questioned the Ministry of Commerce’s ability to negotiate these deals that give undue advantage to the three countries at the expense of domestic industries.
Ashmore Group of the United Kingdom has set up the metal can manufacturing plant in Faisalabad with an investment of $70 million. Pakistan’s Liberty Group owns a minority stake in the plant that has annual production capacity of 700 million cans – double than Pakistan’s market requirements.