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Nov 15, 1999

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

Pakistani textiles held up at US ports

Pakistan textile goods worth several million dollars have been blocked at US ports because of problems with export quotas, officials said on Thursday.

The US authorities have placed an embargo on Category 666-P exports and all shipments under this category have been blocked at the ports, they said.

The issue has been creating a backlog of goods being piled up at the ports which could incur huge demurrage charges, an exporter said.

The category 666-P is for pillow cases which come with bed sheets (Category 666-C) in sets and both these items costing several million dollar are held up, he said.

The case has been complicated by lack of proper action by the Pakistani diplomats in Washington who have so far failed in either getting the shipments released or inform the exporters about the progress on the case.

Informed sources said Pakistani authorities have offered the US Customs a way out to resolve the matter by proposing that the stuckup goods be adjusted against textile quotas of year 2000 but so far no response has been obtained on the proposal.

Pakistani diplomats in Washington, when contacted, said they were working on the case but were unable to say what progress had been made so far.

Exporters say the problem was caused because these diplomats did not take up the case in time with the US authorities during the previous government as most of them were busy "pleasing the Ishaq Dar who appointed them to these lucrative posts."

Withdrawal of refinance on yarn urged

The leaders of textile ancillary industry have asked the Commerce Minister to immediately withdraw export refinance facility on export of all counts yarn.

In support of their demand these leaders said that following recent decline in raw cotton prices the spinning industry exported low cost yarn in large quantity in the world market.

Belgians keen on joint ventures

Walloon Trade Commission, embassy of Belgium in Islamabad has offered some direct trade facilities to the business community of Sialkot for upgrading two-way trade between the two countries.

In its letter to Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the embassy of Belgium has said that as an area rich in steel and coal, the Walloon region in Belgium has known intensive industrial activity. The embassy hopes that Pakistan can capture the leather and sports goods markets of Belgium by exporting the best quality products. SCCI can play its role in enhancing the exports of the best quality leather products and sports goods, the embassy letter points out.

Rice exports increase by 21.56pc

Rice brought $121.379m as against $99.849m, showing an improvement of 21.56% while a 91.07% more forex was lost to import of petroleum products im July-Oct '99 against the same period last year.

The Statistics Division figures on foreign trade in the first four months of the current fiscal show that major improvements and downturns were recorded in the following sectors:

Towels export plummeted by 29.89% while the leather manufacture export earnings dwindled by 22.36% in July-Oct '99 as against the exports of the same period in '98. Surgical and medical instruments plunged by 11.13%.

Foreign trade gap expands

The foreign trade gap has expanded by 52.5 per cent in the first four months of the current financial year compared to the corresponding period in 1998-99.

The trade gap in July-October 1999-2000 in absolute terms was 587 million dollars against 385 million dollars in the same period last year.

The trade figures released on Wednesday by the Statistics Division for October 1999 indicate that in the first four months of the current fiscal exports fetched $2.61 billion against $2.4 billion in the same period last year while the import bill shot up to $3.2 billion dollars against $2.8 billion in the same period last year.

Exports were 81.7 per cent of imports in the first four months of the current financial year. Last year, in the same period, the exports had covered 88.5% of import bill.

Export in the month of October fetched $675 million and the import bill stood at $776 million narrowing the trade gap for the month to $101 million from $130 million recorded in October 1998.

Soyameal imported from India

Pakistan, currently facing liquidity crunch, has paid hard cash foreign exchange to the tune of Rs 1.17 billion for the import of the soyameal from India as the Indian exporters had declined to accept the letters of credit of Pakistan-based banks.

It is learnt from reliable sources that some dumping activity of the soyameal by Indian exporters was brought to the notice of the ousted government of Nawaz Sharif by oil solvent and extraction industry, saying that the Indian exporters, to develop their selling grounds, were spoiling the Pakistani oil industry.

Seafood export rises

The export of seafood during July-September 1998-99 has registered a rise of 43 percent over the corresponding period previous year, industry sources said Saturday.

The value of seafood exports including fish and shrimps stood at 30.7 million dollars during 1998-99 while the quantity was estimated at 18,854 tonnes.

During July-September 1997-98, seafood exports valued at 21.34 million dollars while the quantity measured at 12,549 tonnes due to ban on the export from European Union (EU).

Apple-cum-dates show in BD

Pakistan's apple-cum-dates show will be held at Dhaka, Bangladesh from Nov 10 to 11, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said here on Saturday.

In all 16 parties are going to attend the event. Of these, five are growers/exporters of apples, while 11 represent date sector, including one manufaturer and exporter of date syrup.

Before their departure to Bangladesh, the participants of the show were briefed by S Masood Alam Rizvi, vice chairman, EPB. He informed the participants that the prospects for export of dates to Bangladesh are enormous.