Rice deal signed with
Iranian deputy minister for commerce Saeed Najed and minister for
commerce, industries and production Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday, signed an agreement for
the sale of 20,000 tons of Irri-9 to Iran.
The agreement signed here at a meeting of Razzak Dawood with the
visiting Iranian minister where they agreed to further expand the trade and bilateral
economic relations between the two countries, a press release said.
Dawood said that there was immense scope for enhanced economic and
trade relations between the two countries.
He said that Iran and Pakistan had always enjoyed very cordial
relations, which ought to be strengthened in the economic fields as well.
He informed the Iranian deputy minister that Pakistan was wedded to
free market mechanism.
"Hence, chamber of commerce and private business houses should
step in to expand economic cooperation and exploit the full trade potential available in
both countries," he said.
Iranian deputy minister for commerce and chairman commercial services
development company, said he had come to Pakistan with the hope of further exploring the
possibilities of collaboration in trade and economic fields.
He indicated that Iran was looking forward to enter in cooperation in
technology transfer, trade in services and commodities sectors.
He said that Iranian total rice imports were to the tune of 800,000
tons and these were being done through open international tenders.'
Export deals for 0.65m bales
The private sector exporters have made forward export deals with over
two dozen foreign buyers for about 0.650m cotton bales worth Rs.6bn but physical shipments
are far below the target.
According to official figures released by the Export Promotion Bureau,
export contracts for 0.646m bales have been registered with it by the exporters up to
April 21, 2000 against which shipment of 0.246m bales have made for the same period,
showing a gap of about 0.4m bales.
The total foreign sales figure swelled to 0.805m bales prior to Indian
ban on cotton import from Pakistan and after the cancellation of export contracts for
0.161m bales, sold to Indian importers,the net figure comes to 0.644m bales.
Sugar import may
Refined sugar import may cost over $100 million this year as its
international price is steadily rising amid reports of shortfall in its production in
Pakistan and some other countries, sources told. A couple of months back refined sugar had
been imported at the rate of $195 per ton, $165 international price of the commodity and
$30 as C&F charges.
Liberal drug imports urged
Pakistan Chemists and Druggists Association has recommended expansion
in medicines and drug imports lists under the forthcoming Import Policy of the country for
Syed Mohammad Idrees, PCDA Secretary in a dispatch to the ministries of
health and commerce respectively on Wednesday suggested that since many of the essential
and life saving drugs are not manufactured in the country but are available at very
reasonable costs in many of the other countries thus would be appropriate to allow their
import under the policy to be announced for the fiscal year 2000-2001.
$500m shortfall seen in exports target
Observing across-the-board decline in exports of major categories in
March, the top-brass in the ministry of commerce have anticipated around $500 million
shortfall in achieving the export target for the current fiscal year.
From July-February 19992000 exports depicted a convincing growth every
month. But, last month's across the board decline in exports of a majority of items has
made the commerce managers pessimistic about the achievement of the target.
The ministry of commerce had announced $9 billion target for exports
for this fiscal year while during nine months overall exports have reached $6,197 million
mark, leaving a target of $2803 million for the next three months this seems very
difficult to achieve in the light of poor performance in March.
Livestock exports fetch Rs36bn
The country has earned Rs 36 billion from the export of livestock from
January to December 1999.
An official of the Livestock division said here that the government has
also earned Rs 11.74 million through fee levied on the import and export of livestock from
July 1999 to January 2000.
He said there is no ban on the export of livestock and its allied parts
from any country of the world from Pakistan.
The European Union has also approved 31 casings processing and 13 bones
processing units for export according to their quality standards, he added.
Huge funds into stock market
Several banks and financial institutions have pumped huge funds into
the stock market since last one quarter following a decline in the treasury bills, lending
rates and in National Saving Schemes rate of return on profits.
Though the size of their investment was not available but traders believe that about Rs
4 billion to Rs 5 billion have found way into the stock market which helped the index to
grow by around 68 percent to 2,000 attained this month.