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ISLAMABAD: The Mar­ble Association of Italy has agreed to help Pakistan for the development of marble and granite sectors, in addition to establishing a technical and scientific international trade centre in the country.

The Memorandum of In­te­nt was signed here on Monday between Pakistan Stone Development Comp­any (Pasdec) and the Marble Association of Italy, and has already been appr­oved by the federal cabinet.

The agreement was signed by Pasdec CEO Zahid Maqsood Sheikh and Marble Association of Italy’s Honorary President Flavio Marabelli.

Pasdec and the Italian association will contribute an equal amount of 400,000 euros each towards setting up of the centre in Risalpur. The project is expected to be completed within two years and it will also serve as an export promotion centre for the stones being extracted in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Maqsood said that more of such agreements will be signed with other stone producing countries to further upgrade mining and processing methodology in the country.

A technical group from Italy would soon be visiting Pakistan to evaluate and set timelines for execution of the project, he said.

The trade centre is to be equipped with the latest machinery and equipment for the human resource and skill development in the two fields at the marble city of Risalpur.

The association representing over 300 Italian marble and stone industries will provide technical expertise and support for the transfer of know-how, technical and scientific education for operators as well as international communication and marketing.

The companies associated with the Marble Association of Italy supply the advanced technology that makes Italy a global leader in stone and manufactured stone industries.

Italian machinery is engineered to be versatile and provides customers with unique solutions to process marble and stone at competitive prices.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2018