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Dec 06, 1999

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

Dawood flays unfair multilateral trade rules

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood has said the absence of genuine liberalization in textiles, agriculture, and low cost manufacturers is accompanied by other measures to restrict developing countries' exports.

Speaking at the preliminary session of the 3rd WTO Ministerial Conference here, the Minister expressed that before addressing new areas of liberalization, the shortcomings arising from a asymmetric benefits flowing from the Uruguay Round Agreements and unfair implementation of multilateral trade rules must be first rectified.

Many of the 'implementation' issues can and should be resolved in Seattle besides immediate decisions on the issues including more rapid integration and growth in textile exports, he added.

Quick decisions need to be taken for moratorium on antidumping actions on products that are already under restraints and acceptance of subsidies by developing countries in areas such as product development, diversification, and regional growth in the non-actionable category, the Minister continued.

The remaining issues, he observed should be taken up by a special mechanism under the general council, to be resolved within one year after this conference and in any case, not later than the next ministerial conference.

Razak Dawood said it is clear that trade liberalization is beneficial to the global economy. At the same time, it must be acknowledged that there is a dark thread of inquiry through the multilateral trading system.

The experience of the past five years with implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements has made it evident that the overall 'package' of agreements covered by the 'single undertaking' was inherently unequal, he added.

Moreover, several key agreements have been implemented in a manner that has eroded their spirit and compromised their objectives.

Consequently, developing countries have not gained any meaningful increase in market access in the key areas where they have a clear comparative advantage, especially textiles and agriculture.

International tea moot

The Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) is hosting a World Tea Convention from March 25 to 27 im Karachi.

The aim of the convention is to muster support to set up an international tea auction center in Karachi, said a PTA official.

Pakistan is the second biggest tea importer after Russia in the world with annual imports hovering at 120 million kg. It excludes the 10 to 15 million kg of tea which is smuggled into the country.

$ 52m cement, clinker export to BD in jeopardy

Pakistan is likely to lose around $ 52 million worth of confirmed export orders for cement and clinker from Bangladesh because of inordinate delays in settling rebate claims, according to exporters here.

A source in the cement industry said that cement exporters were facing extreme difficulties in having their rebate claims settled by the customs. ZThis has put in jeopardy $ 52 minion worth of confirmed export. orders to Bangladesh," an official of D.G.Khan Cement said.

Seminar on Incoterms

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) organized a day-long seminar on International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) at a local hotel to make the businessmen and bankers aware of the possible impact of new version of rules issued by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The millennium edition of its standard trade definitions, Incoterms-2000, to be implemented from January next, will be used in the international trade contracts.

United Jute

Majority shareholders (sponsors) in United Jute Mills Limited have offered to buy-back 'all shares of the company available in the market' at Rs 10 each.

The offer was made to the shareholders on Nov 25, through a letter to the Karachi Stock Exchange, which has also been asked to de-list the company.

Contracts for 119,500 cotton bales signed

Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has signed procurement contracts for 119,500 bales of cotton throughout the country.

According to a press release issued by the ministry of commerce here on Saturday, the TCP has reported to the federal government that so far it has lifted 3,000 bales from the ginners from different places and these have already been shifted to the TCP godowns.

The press release said that Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has also registered cotton export contracts from private sector for export of as many as 80,000 cotton bales.

Raw cotton export

Pakistan has bright prospects for the export of its surplus raw cotton to Indonesia this year, says a report of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Pakistan, having a bumper cotton crop of over 10 million bales this year, is facing a marketing problem as other cotton producing countries also reported surplus production.

The report, compiled by the Commercial Section of Pakistani Embassy in Jakarta for EPB said that Indonesia had been one of the major cotton importer of Pakistani cotton till 1995-96.

150 companies may suffer hostile takeovers

At least 150 listed securities at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) face immediate threat of change of management if the proposed hostile takeover laws are implemented, corporate analysts said. The financial weak companies whose net worth have eroded to 40 per cent or less of the paid up capital will automatically qualify for takeover by share holders, said KSE sources here Tuesday while referring to the summary of the proposed takeover law.

The law provides for transparent and efficient method for takeover of target company and the mechanism provides an environment in which takeovers would take place smoothly and publicly without the ills of insider trading. Presently 113 companies are in the defaulters' counter of the KSE with the share values hovering below 40 per cent of the net worth.

Sugar for USC

The federal government has resolved an old dispute with the sugar industry to get around 4,400 metric ton white sugar for the Utility Store Corporation outlets all over the country before the holy month of Ramazan. Corporation officials told that the government had paid around Rs544 million to half a dozen sugar mills which were to supply the sugar to the USC.