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Oct 02 - 08, 2000

Leather exports surge by 20%

Pakistan's leather exports that remained sluggish during the last five years has started to show promising trends with around 20% increase in its exports in the first two months of the fiscal year 2000-01, official sources said on Wednesday.

During July-August 2000, the leather exports, both raw and manufactured, increased to $91.41 million as against that of $73 million of exports in the same period of last year.

The export of raw leather increased to $31.35 million in first two months against that of $24.29 million, registering 29% increase.

Similarly, the export of leather manufactures was recorded at $60.06 million an increase of 20.81% over the exports of $49.72 million in July-August 1999-00.

Official quarters have expressed the confidence that the Leather Policy to be announced next month will give further impetus to its exports in the coming years.

Leather Policy will provide a broader framework to bring about improvement in its chain of processing and remove irritants at the export stages, official sources said.

The study currently being undertaken is also assessing the "financial back-up" that is needed to achieve desired goals in this important sector of economy.

The exports of leather and leather manufactures have witnessed a drop in the last five years, causing considerable loss to this industry that employ over 250,000 workers.

Its share in total exports has declined from 8.0% in 1994-95 to 6.9% in 1998-99.

The dip is registered both in exports of finished leather as well as leather manufactures.

As regard the leather manufactures, its exports has declined from $389 million in 1993-94 to $269 million in 1999-00. Leather made-up include shoes, upper, jackets, gloves etc.

The entire range that involves pealing of hide from the animal to its final processing is being studied to identify problems.

Banana out to explore new export markets

The locally-produced banana may not be so delicious and enormous in size as of Senegal or other major producers of the world, but has its own taste compatible with the soil of the areas where it is grown on commercial scale.

However, along with other major fruits notably mangoes, kinoos, apples and dates local bananas are getting foothold in highly competitive markets of Gulf and Europe, but unlike mangoes, kinoos and apples, these still have to assume the role of a leading foreign exchange earner.

Export prices per dozen in various currencies including the Gulf aren't uniform and vary from country to country based on quality but are said to be attractive enough for a prospective exporter who chooses to enter into banana export trade, of course, after doing extensive homework.

LCs for raw sugar import: SBP

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has asked all banks to establish letters of credit (LCs) for import of raw sugar for refining it into white sugar, in bulk at zero rate of duty with immediate effect.

An SBP circular F.E. No. 18, issued on Tuesday, said that prior permission of SBP in imports onliner terms and C&F basis would have to be obtained which would be granted on first-come- first-served basis.

The LCs already opened by the banks in this regard are required to be post approved to regularize the transaction immediately, the circular said.

250KVA Generators

The federal government has exempted all industries from payment of sales tax on import of electric generating sets of 250KVA and above.

A notification No 677(I)/2000, dated September 28 has been issued by the Central Board of Revenue which says, only registered manufacturers can import these generating sets, for use in the process of manufacturing of taxable goods.

Engg goods exports target

A high level meeting decided on Tuesday to target a 25% annual growth rate of engineering goods export that will eventually lead to a goal of one billion dollar by the year 2005.

The meeting, which was chaired by Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production Razzak Dawood identified and prioritised several key products for an immediate development of exports. These products included among others, fans, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, auto parts, gears, fasteners besides the traditional surgical and cutlery goods.

ME livestock market

Pakistani exporters can capture a billion dollar livestock market of the Middle East and the Gulf following imposition of ban on Saturday by these countries on imports from Yemen and eight African countries.

According to reports appearing in Gulf newspapers, the cause of ban on import of livestock, meat and poultry from these countries had been an outbreak of a disease, which is transmitted from infected animals to humans through contact or by mosquitoes.

The dreaded Rift Valley Fever (RVF) carried by animals imported from Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Nigeria has already claimed lives of about 200 people in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Yemen itself, reports maintained.

PSI must for rice exports: Dawood

The government will not allow export of rice without pre-shipment inspection in order to ensure quality as demanded by foreign buyers, stated the Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood, on Saturday.

Talking to newsmen at the launching ceremony of Siemens Home Appliance in Pakistan, he said this was the main focus of a government meeting held few days back with growers and millers.

ABC links cotton growers

The Agriculture Business Cell (ABC), established in the agriculture ministry last week, is currently negotiating three cotton export deals with the importers from Switzerland, West Africa and Japan.

The ABC whose fundamental purpose is to link the local cotton growers/ginners with the international buyers/market has also got confirmation from 106 ginning factories operating in the cotton belt for the supply of quality and standardized cotton to international buyers, in case these deals were finalized.