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Sep 04 - 10, 2000

India keen to sell sugar to Pakistan

India will bid for a tender issued by Pakistan for import of 100,000 tons of white sugar, senior trade officials said on Tuesday. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) issued the tender on Monday to buy 100,000 tons of white refined or white crystal sugar.

A TCP official said in Karachi tenders had been invited for 25,000 tons of sugar with shipment by Oct 15 and another 75,000 tons by Oct 31.

He said the tender was issued late Monday and eligible exporters from all countries had been asked to submit their offers on Sept 9. The tenders would be opened on the same day.

"We will certainly bid for the tender," S.L. Jain, director-general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association, told Reuters.

"Conditions of the tender are such that no one else can sell it. I have got a freight advantage. I need to export sugar to Pakistan," Mr Jain said.

Pakistan, a sugar exporter for the last two years, started importing sugar earlier this year because of a slide in domestic output to 2.45m tons against a demand of 2.9m tons.

India is expected to hold sugar stocks of about 10m tons at the beginning of the 2000/2001 crop season beginning in October.

"We have freely accepted their sugar at times when they were in surplus and I am quite hopeful we should be able to help them as we did in 1996/97 when we supplied sugar to them," Jain said. He said India will do its best to fulfil their demands on a competitive basis and suggested Pakistan take Indian sugar through the rail route.

"Pakistan desperately needs sugar and we are in position to supply to them at the earliest and at cheapest prices," said a leading sugar trader in Ahmedabad.

Export refinance (Box)

The utilization of credit limits for export refinance of Nationalized Commercial Banks remained highly dismal at 47 per cent as against private and foreign banks whose performance of utilization was up to 80 per cent.

On this the overall utlization of credit came up to 53 per cent which shows that exports are unlikely to pickup to achieve the target of $10 billion for current fiscal.

This was disclosed by the SBP officials to members of Credit Advisory Committee whose first meeting was held at State Bank on Wednesday.

The SBP advisory committee on credit comprising members from business community and representatives of commercial banks took serious note of poor utilization of the refinance facility given to exporter on concessionary mark-up from 8 per cent to 10 per cent.

Balochistan to export apples to Bangladesh (Box)

Balochistan's fine quality apple, about 50,000 tons, would be exported to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives this year, Sardar Mohammed Ali Jogezai, president, Balochistan chamber of commerce and industry, said on Wednesday.

He said similar export orders are also expected from Gulf-states and other countries.

He said big export orders have been received from Bangladesh, which had been a major buyer of Pakistani apples even prior to its creation.

Balochistan's apples, grapes, pomegranates and dates have been in great demand and a great source of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan, he added.

Grapes first consignment, he said was already on its way to Bangladesh.

Export orders secured

Pakistani exporters had secured orders worth $4.7 million and struck deals worth US 0.1 million at the Interjeans Fair, recently concluded at Cologne, Germany, EPB sources said on Tuesday.

Pakistani exporters displayed their new collections of knitted garments, sports wear, trousers, shirts, blouses, pants, cotton denim fabrics, jogging suites, leather garments, leather dresses, leather gloves, cotton jackets etc at the fair.

These items were appreciated at the Fair which attracted nearly 41,000 buyers from 100 countries including Germany, UK, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Canada, France, Spain etc.

Lately there has been tremendous improvement in daily turnover of visitors to Pakistani stalls at Expo 2000, Hannover, which have raised the hope of meeting our targets.

Accord with Croatia

Pakistan and Croatia on Monday signed different agreements to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation on sustainable basis.

The agreements were signed by Pakistan's commerce minister Razzak Dawood and Croatian economy minister Gorako Fizulic.

Croatia has a strong apparel industry and is looking for raw supplies of dyed and printed clothes so that its exporters could market their products in the European chain stores, competitively.

Incentives for textile in offing

The government has devised a short and long-term plan to offer fiscal and performance-based incentives to the textile export sector, guaranteeing availability of funds and enhanced quota.

Informed sources told on Monday that arrangements are being made to create a permanent fund for exporters with small capital to meet their requirement of export manufacture after the termination of quota system on Dec 31, 2004. This fund would make available the support-finances to the exporters whose performance, both in terms of manufacture and marketing would fall in category "A".

Balochistan trade team to visit Qandhar

Balochistan chamber of commerce and industry's 40-member trade delegation, headed by its president Sardar Mohammad Ali Jogezai, would leave for Qandhar on Sunday on Taliban's invitation.

Balochistan's leading importers, exporters and mine-owners would form the BCCI delegation.

Prior to extending invitation, a senior Taliban official along with Afghanistan's Consul-General had a meeting with the BCCI officials and discussed various issues regarding promotion of bilateral trade.