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Sep 20, 1999

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade
  6. Gulf

Mauritius offers gateway to Pakistani exporters

Mauritian High Commissioner Mamode Fareed Mosaheb on Thursday said Pakistani exporters can reach the African and Indian Ocean Rim countries markets through his country.

'Exports from Mauritius enjoy preferential market access to North America, Japan and Australia among others through the General System of Preferences (GSP) scheme,' he said while addressing the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) executive commitee.

He said Mauritius has signed agreements to avoid double taxation and promote investment with several countries including Pakistan to ensure an ideal framework for investment flow. It makes Mauritius an important gateway for regional investment, he said.

Govt launching export finance guarantee scheme: EPB

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) chairman Wajid Jawad on Thursday said that the government is launching an Export Finance Guarantee Scheme to facilitate small and medium size enterprises which cannot obtain refinance for export from the banks.

He said the scheme is being initiated with the help of Asian Development Bank (ADB) which will be implemented by an institution that is yet to be set up.

ADB has already given Pakistan $350 million to implement three different programmes including the above mentioned institution.

He hoped that Pakistan will be able to attain the export target of $8.6 billion for the current fiscal year.

Addressing the reporters at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), he said the country's exports had shown 0.5% and 1% growth in July and August, respectively over the corresponding period last year. 'The increase is nominal but it means that we have successfully been able to arrest the decline started last year as a result of international sanctions imposed on Pakistan,' he said.

He asserted that the country's export in June stood at a record $806 million.

He hoped the expected bumper cotton crop this year will give a fillip of $500-600 million to the country's exports. Besides, the EPB chief said, Pakistan will be able to improve its export of rice as well because of the incentives given to exporters.

Jawad claimed that the government has provided more facilities to exporters than ever before. But, he conceded, 'there are still certain problems that need to be addressed.'

These problems include liquidity crunch faced by the exporters because of a delayed refund of sales tax and customs duty to them and difficulties in obtaining export refinance from banks.

Apple show

The sixth annual apple show would be held in Quetta from Oct 5 to Oct 7, 99 to attract domestic and foreign buyers for the purchase of high quality apple produced in Balochistan, under the auspices of the provincial government and Export Promotion Bureau.

Seafood export potential

Singapore's food products firm, ANGLISS, plans to import seafood and chilled vegetables.

Official sources said this firm has sought a report on the export potential of the seafood and the chilled vegetables from Pakistani government.

Footwear export on decline

The footwear export from Pakistan has been on the decline for the past few years mainly for want of an aggressive marketing effort in the world markets and absence of support industries and technical training to improve the quality.

The statistics provided by the Export Promotion Bureau reveal that Pakistan's footwear exports in the first 11 months of '98-99 dropped sharply to $30.988m and 7,571,000 pairs from $51.513m and 8,241,000 pairs in '96-97. In the intervening year, the country exported 8,073,000 pairs worth $42.984m.

The EPB figures show that the export of leather footwear has almost been halved in the last three years to $20.823m and 2,391,000 pairs in '98-99 from $39,620m and 4,569,000 pairs in '96-97. In '97-98, Pakistan sent out 3,202,000 pairs worth $28.228m.

The export of canvas footwear has, however, increased slightly in the same period to $6.801m and 4,457,000 pairs in '98-99 from $6.113m and 3,821,000 pairs in '96-97.

15pc excise duty levied on cotton imports

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) approved a proposal to levy 15 per cent excise duty on the import of cotton.

The ECC meeting, held on Monday, was presided over by the finance minister Ishaq Dar.

The ECC was told that the decision to levy 15 per cent excise duty on the import of cotton was taken in order to protect the interests of the farmers who had been expecting a good cotton crop this season.

This step is expected to encourage the farmers and ensure good returns to them.

Informed sources said, the ECC was told that the country expected 9.7 million cotton bales this year. Surprisingly, there was a good cotton crop in Balochistan which the officials said was beyond expectations.

Sources said that about 300,000 cotton bales were imported during the last three months at depressed prices which was said to be the main reason for forcing the authorities to impose 15 per cent excise duty on import of the commodity.

Rice export target to be met: Lalika

Federal Food and Agriculture Minister, Mr Abdul Sattar Lalika on Sunday hoped that Pakistan would achieve rice export target of US$1 billion during the current finincial year.

"The increase in the Pak rice exports during the months of July and August are indicative of the fact that demand for our Basmati rice has increased in the international markets, especially in the Middle East," he added.

Garlic, ginger imports

Pakistan has spent a sizable amount of Rs 1.20bn on the import of two vegetable items, garlic and ginger in '98-99.

About Rs562m had been spent on the import of garlic and Rs 637m on ginger (non-dried).

Pakistan buys diesel, gasoline

The Pakistan Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has bought by tender up to 360,000 tonnes of diesel and 25,000 tonnes of gasoline for October to December 1999 delivery, an official said on Monday.

The tender awarded 300,000 tonnes of 1.0-per cent sulphur gas oil on a firm contract basis and one 60,000-tonne cargo on an optional basis, the official said.