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Nov 27 - Dec 03, 2000

Govt to allow export of 6 items to CARs

The federal government has finalised a plan to permit the export of six local products to Central Asian Republics via Afghanistan on a six-month trial basis.

The six goods cement, rice, pharmaceuticals, glass sheets, G.I. pipes and hardware items could be exported against irrevocable letters of credit or advance payment in foreign currency. These export goods shall be zero-rated for sales tax, and be eligible to normal duty drawbacks.

The Commerce Ministry with the active consultation of the Agriculture and other concerned ministries has recommended the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet to approve only six items for export purposes, although the NWFP government had recommended export of 100 items. A source said that a summary has been submitted before the ECC.

The ECC had asked the ministry to send a summary for the export of a few selected items for export to the Central Asian Republics via Afghanistan.

It had directed that the scheme should involve monitoring of actual movement of the goods and if the goods are not sold there, the scheme should be discontinued. The ministry has also suggested that in order to stop this scheme from being misused, the Pakistan embassy/consulate in Kabul and Kandhar should verify the arrival of the export consignment from Pakistan.

The packages or retail packing shall be clearly marked "For Export Only" and transportation of these goods should be allowed through government's approved transporters only.

The ECC has also been informed that the ministries of Defence, Agriculture, Industries & Production, Foreign Office and Health, CBR and ISI Directorate have supported the proposal while the Defence Ministry has expressed its reservation vis a vis deployment of NLC trucks for trans-border transportation.

$250m credit schemes for boosting exports

The government in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has initiated two new credit facility and guarantee schemes worth around $250 million for the promotion of exports and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

This was stated by Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production, Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday while talking to newsmen at a seminar titled "Policy Measures for Small and Medium Enterprises" organized by Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation.

"The two new schemes namely Export Credit Facility Scheme worth $150 million and Export Credit Guarantee Scheme worth $80 to $100 million will be operational by January 2001," he said.

Giving details of the schemes, the Minister said, the Export Credit Guarantee Scheme worth $80 to $100 million will help resolve the problems of SMEs in securing credits from banks by providing collateral to the concerned banks on nominal charges.

$600m rice export target to be achieved

Pakistan would achieve the target of $600 million earning from the export of rice this season, says Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood. Talking on Tuesday, the minister said that the delegation, which would leave for Tehran, would explore the possibilities of exporting wheat and rice to Iran.

He said that Iran was primarily interested in the import of rice from Pakistan. "But then the issue of exporting our surplus wheat will also come up for detailed discussion there," he added.

The commerce minister said that a special meeting would be held on Wednesday to have the assessment of rice crop for the current season. He was optimistic that rice production would be very good like that of last year.

He pointed out that the export of Pakistani rice had increased by 50 per cent and the government would achieve $600 million export target for the fiscal 2000-2001.

Exports to Iraq increased

Pakistan has received tenders worth $200 million of goods from Iraq, says Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) chairman Tariq Ikram.

In his speech at the inaugural ceremony of a four-day workshop on "Doing business with Europe", Ikram said his efforts for increasing trade volume with Iraq since February had paid off and Pakistan's export to it had moved up to $15-18 million from $5-6 million. Iraq, China, Syria, Iran, and other such friendly nations had the markets, which were never explored by Pakistan, he said. He said the present government was giving utmost attention to enhance trade relations with such countries to boost its exports.

Wheat export

Iran has shown keen interest in importing wheat from Pakistan to meet one million tons shortfall in its domestic requirement, official sources said.

'Exporters of textile to face tough time'

Pakistani textile exporters will have a tough time in Europe after the elimination of quotas and import tariffs and other commercial barriers in 2005.

This was stated by CBI (Netherlands) consultant J F Laman Trip while speaking at a news conference on the conclusion of a four-day workshop on "Doing business with Europe" on Thursday organized by the Export Promotion Bureau in collaboration with CBI.

Import duty rates being reviewed

Concessional import duty rates of raw materials, intermediary goods and finished products, meant to offer protection to the local industry, are being reviewed for avoiding future anomalies.

Official sources told that a project for fresh cascading of these rates has been launched to secure tariff rates for more than 15,000 import items which relate to the local industry in terms of raw materials, intermediaries and end-users' items (finished goods).