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Dec 11 - 17, 2000

Senegal to purchase Pakistani rice

A 5-member high-level trade delegation of Senegal is visiting Pakistan next week for the purchase of rice, and is expected to order the first shipload.

The chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), Shahzad Ali Malik, said on Tuesday that Senegal government decided in principle to import rice from Pakistan after the Senegalese Commerce Minister, Khouraichi Thiam presented his report after his visit to Pakistan last month.

Senegal government's purchase delegation will visit to finalize the deal after selecting the quality and the price for the first shipment.

For the first ship, Senegal may not ask for the Islamic Development Bank support and work on letter of credit or cash against documents or any other means which satisfies the trading requirements.

The first shipload of rice will be followed by periodic imports of remaining consignments to be imported from Pakistan. The shipload at the prices agreed will go a long way to lower the prices in the local Senegal market to CFA 150 per kilo for 100 per cent broken rice.

Shahzad said that the Thai/Vietnamese rice of similar quality is sold at CFA 200-220 CFA per kilo in the retail market. The CFA is pegged to the French Franc, therefore indirectly to the Euro. The rate for one US dollar is equal to CFA 770.

The Senegal Commerce Minister during his visit to Pakistan on October 30 last inked a memorandum of understanding at Islamabad with the chairman REAP for the import of three lakh ton rice from Pakistan, out of their total requirement of five lakh ton.

The final shape will be given to the MOU after negotiating prices and quality of rice with the office bearers of REAP in the coming Senegalese visit.

SBP allows export refinance on brown rice

The State Bank has allowed export refinance facility on brown rice and par (partially) boiled rice in packing of 1-50 kg, said a circular (BSD no 32) issued on Thursday. The circular gives immediate effect to the decision.

Earlier on September 15, the SBP had allowed export refinance facility on brown rice and par boiled rice in 1-25 kg packing.

Rice exporters have long been demanding refinance facility on brown rice and par boiled rice so that they could compete more efficiently in the international market.

Export of brown rice and par boiled rice constitutes a small percentage of total rice exports. Brown rice is exported mainly to the countries in the euro zone and par boiled rice in Saudi Arabia. Currently India has an edge over Pakistan in rice export because of cheaper prices.

RAILCOP wins Saudi contract

Railway Constructions Pakistan Limited (RAILCOP), a subsidiary of Ministry of Railways, has been awarded a contract worth Saudi Riyal nine million (Rs144 million) by Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) for End-Cropping/Welding of their 60km main railway line.

The company has won this project through international competition. The contract agreement was signed by Khalid Hammad Al-Yahya, President of Saudi Arabian Railways on behalf of Saudi Arabian Government and Abdul Waheed Sheikh, Managing Director Pakistan Railways in Damam (Saudi Arabia) on behalf of Pakistan Government last Sunday.

The completion period of the project is one year. It is expected that completion of this project will further enhance relationship between Pakistan Railways/RAILCOP) and SRO.

Wheat tender date extended

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) had extended a wheat export tender for the third time, but hoped to sell 200,000 tonnes to Iran after recent talks.

A TCP official on Wednesday told Reuters the tender date was now January 2, instead of a previous closing date of December 7. The original date for the tender for 500,000 tonnes of wheat, issued in October, was November 16.

Trade relations with Niger

Ambassador-designated to Niger, Pervez Khanzada, discussed with the FPCCI President various proposals and suggestions for promotion of trade and economic relations with Niger.

He said that the official trade between Pakistan and Niger is 1.725 million dollars while the un-official trade is 14.5 million dollars.

He informed that Niger having a 9 million population has great potential for Pakistani rice, pharmaceutical products, cotton and textile etc.

Pervez Khanzada said that the neighbouring countries of Niger i.e. Burkina Faso, Togo are also potential markets for Pakistan.

Call to boost surgical exports

Tariq Ikram, Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau, has called upon the surgical manufacturers to boost exports of surgical items and assured all possible governmental assistance in this behalf.

Speaking at the Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association Tuesday night, the EPB Chairman advised the Surgical Exporters and Manufacturers that they should participate in 'Trade Fairs' being held regularly in Latin America, Australia, Japan and China as such countries were big surgical markets.

Wheat for Afghans at subsidized rates

Pakistan will provide a subsidy of Rs230 million on the supply of 600,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan, in order to facilitate its export to Kabul at the government-to- government level.

Official sources told on Wednesday that the commerce ministry had submitted a summary to the finance minister, Shaukat Aziz, seeking his approval for the required subsidy.

10% custom duty on LPG waived

The government has decided to exempt the import of Liquefied Petroleum Gas from 10 per cent customs duty, said a press release issued on Sunday.

The companies importing LPG would also pay corporate tax to the government and in addition additional revenues would also be earmarked by the government in the form of general sales tax.