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Sep 11 - 17, 2000

Export target for 2010 at $30bn

A high level meeting was informed here on Friday that the government has tentatively fixed 30 billion dollar exports target for 2010.

Official sources told Dawn that minister for commerce, Industries and Production Razak Dawood chaired a meeting with the country's leading exporters, industrialists and businessmen and told them the government has proposed 30 billion dollar export target for 2010.

He said that policies to be implemented in the next three years will set the pace for achieving a formidable 30 billion dollar export target in 2010.

He said besides textile two more sectors were being explored for additional 5 billion dollar exports. Sources said he informed the exporters that agro based industries, chemical, petrol chemical and engineers sectors had a great potential for increasing exports. He said any of the two sectors, out of four will be chosen for additional 5 billion dollar exports. Sources said the meeting also approved the establishment of "Export Houses" outside Pakistan for which procedure will be simplified. In this regard the meeting was told that Jordan and Croatia have offered port facilities to Pakistan to set up warehouses. The meeting was told that Pakistan could increase its exports to Europe by having port facilities in Croatia rather than Barcelona from were Pakistan was currently sending its good to various European countries. The meeting also decided "not" to offer concessions and tariff incentives to free trade industrial zones in Pakistan. "It creates disparity and hurts the interests of other industries set up elsewhere", said a participant of the meeting.

Import duty rates revised

The federal government has revised import duty rates on scores of items to protect the local textile, plastic, electric, steel and other industries.

The revision in duty rates, announced through a presidential ordinance issued on Thursday, has been joint recommendations of the ministry of finance, commerce, industries, Central Board of Revenue, National Tariff Commission and Engineering Development Board.

The duty on pearl quality caustic soda has been increased from 10% to 35%. Duty on electric fan capacitors has also been increased from zero to 35% Rates on these items had been made after presentations given by manufacturing sectors.

Duty on crude oil and palm kernel oil has been reduced from 35% to 10%, on caustic soda, caustic potash, peroxides of sodium or potassium (solid) it has been increased to the maximum tariff rate of 35%.

Trade deficit at $313m

External trade deficit amounting to $313 million has been recorded in the first two months of the financial year 2000-2001, say figures obtained from the ministry of commerce on Thursday.

Trade deficit in these two months was $375 million last year, thus reflecting $62 million decrease. These figures, however, reflect that a record 23.5% increase has been recorded in the second month of the current financial year. Imports have increased by 17 per cent. Pakistan exported goods worth $790 million while exports in August last year valued $639 million. Imports in August 2000 valued $ 970.5 million while imports in August 1999 valued $827 million.

In August 2000, the trade deficit was of $186 million. In the first two months of the current financial year (July-August), the exports valued $1458.7 million while last year in the same two months exports from Pakistan valued $1240.9 million.

15pc ST on cement

The federal government, on Tuesday, decided to levy 15 per cent sales tax on cement and reduce central excise duty from Rs1400 per ton to Rs1000 per ton.

$423,780 orders received at ISPO

Pakistan won export orders worth $423,780 at the ISPO Fair held in August at Munich, EPB sources said on Monday.

The sources said 21 Pakistani companies participating in the fair exhibited wide range of sports goods and fashion items. Some of the items displayed were latest collection of footballs, boxing and biking gloves, sports jackets and other garments.

TCP to import black gram

The federal government has approved the import of black gram by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) after reports indicating serious shortage of the commodity. The TCP is likely to import nearly 100,000 tons of black gram from Australia.

Official sources told on Monday the decision to import the black gram had been taken to avoid its shortage during Ramazan.

Pak Libya, EPB venture

Union International (pvt) Ltd. a wholly owned subsidiary of Pak-Libya Holding Co, intends to join hands with the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) to further explore the Libyan and neighbouring African markets for Pakistan-based exports.

Union International has started its trading operation in Libya by opening letters of credit for a consignment in the textile sector.

Export 5 of 10 raw materials okayed

The ministry of commerce has initially approved a list of ten raw materials which can be exported from Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to tariff areas of the country.

For facilitating trade and industry, the government in the Trade Policy for year 2000, has already allowed warehousing facility in the EPZs. It has also granted permission for export of such goods from these zones to tariff areas.

Lint prices remain relatively weak

Lint cotton prices on Wednesday remained relatively weak as larger arrivals of phutti into the lower Sindh ginneries continued to inspire fresh selling from the ginners.

An idea of hasty ginner selling may well be had from the fact that prices started declining from the day's peak level of Rs1,960.00 depending, of course, on quality from the morning trading to Rs1,860.00 per maund in the evening.

"A difference of Rs90.00 per maund over the day is a big one judged by any standard and signals that all is not well on the cotton front despite lower arrivals of phutti into the ginneries," brokers say.

The interesting thing is that phutti prices are fairly steady as growers are selling it between Rs780.00 to 800.00 per 40 kg but ginners appear to be in a bit haste.