SMAP and PNSC Discuss Red Sea Crisis

SMAP and PNSC Discuss Red Sea Crisis

Karachi, January 4, 2024 – The Salt Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SMAP) and the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) convened to address security issues arising from the recent crisis in the Red Sea.

Qasim Yaqoob Paracha, the Acting Chairman of SMAP, met with PNSC officials to discuss the escalating concerns that have not only disrupted maritime activities but also significantly increased freight costs, posing a threat to the viability of the salt sector and other crucial industries.

During the meeting, Paracha emphasized the urgent need for the government to pursue international solutions to counter the disruptions in the Red Sea. He highlighted the adverse impact on the salt sector and stressed the potential repercussions for various vital industries if swift and effective measures are not taken. The Acting Chairman urged the government to proactively engage with international stakeholders to find lasting solutions.

In a statement, Paracha outlined SMAP’s belief that if PNSC resumes vessel services under Pakistan’s flagship, it could prove highly advantageous. He asserted that such a move would not only benefit Pakistan but also extend positive impacts to other Muslim countries in the region. Paracha specifically suggested focusing on containerized trade, emphasizing that PNSC operates internationally on a commercial market basis with competitive rates.

Khurrum Mirza, Director of the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, echoed the sentiment of collaboration and exploration of mutually beneficial opportunities. He expressed confidence that the synergies between SMAP and PNSC could lead to innovative solutions that address the challenges posed by the Red Sea crisis. Mirza emphasized the importance of collective efforts to navigate the complexities of the current maritime environment.

Chairman SMAP, Qasim Yaqoob Paracha, urged the government to involve the salt business community in decision-making processes, emphasizing the disproportionate impact on their sector compared to others. By including industry stakeholders in critical discussions, Paracha believes that the government can make more informed decisions that address the specific challenges faced by the salt sector.

The collaboration between SMAP and PNSC reflects a commitment to finding proactive solutions to the security concerns in the Red Sea. As both organizations work together to explore opportunities and navigate the evolving situation, there is optimism that their combined efforts will contribute to the resilience and sustainability of the salt sector and related industries in Pakistan. The importance of a coordinated approach to address the multifaceted challenges in the Red Sea crisis cannot be overstated, and these discussions mark a step towards a collaborative and effective response.