May 07 -
Strategy on way to double rice exports: Dawood
Pakistan has adopted a new strategy to double rice exports
from the present over $500 million to $1 billion, in four years.
This was stated by Abdul Razak Dawood, Pakistan's Minister
for Commerce, Industries and Production, while addressing a press conference in
Dubai on Monday. He is in Dubai to attend an international rice conference in
which a 35-men delegation from Pakistan is participating.
He said the new strategy, in which the government plays the
role of a facilitator, will restore the rice business in Pakistan, make it
internationally competitive and increase the exports by 30 per cent in the next
Giving details, the minister said that a zoning system had
been introduced for the cultivation of a Basmati rice in a specific area to
protect and improve its quality, purity and price, adding that emphasis was
being laid on packing and grading.
He said with the establishment of par boiled plants, Pakistan
will regain the Saudi Arabian market of 800,000 tons lost to India.
He said that the Al Ghurair Group of Dubai had invested in
rice milling in Pakistan. In addition, two new state-of-the-art milling units
were being set up in the country, he said.
A delegation of Saudi Arabian businessmen would visit
Pakistan in May on Export Promotion Board's invitation, he added. An
international rice convention is being hosted by Pakistan in October, to
introduce the developments taking place.
He said that a new variety of Basmati rice would be
introduced in 2002, adding that the supply chain from the paddy to rice mills is
required to be improved to cut down percentage of broken rice.
A quality review committee, he said, had been established to
inspect all rice consignments.
Pakistan's rice exports this fiscal will be around $520
million, about $80 million less than the target, he said adding that generally
Pakistani Basmati rice does not get the same high price as the Indian. Exports
of rice to UAE this year would be around $105 million, at about the same level
of last year.
Shaukat seeks market access to North
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz asked the developed countries
to provide level-playing field and market access to the developing countries for
their exports in order to help them get out of the "poverty trap."
Addressing a meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
and the Bretton Woods Institutions on Tuesday, Aziz appealed to the BWI's to
allow fiscal space to build capacity and improve governance, which was essential
to reduce poverty and end dependence of developing countries on foreign aid.
Aziz told the financial leaders of the world that reduction
of poverty was a major issue for the entire developing world and it was not
limited to the countries defined as Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and
underscored that giving market and free trade access to the developing countries
was the best way to fight poverty. He said the innumerable tariff barriers
imposed by the developed world on exports from the developing countries should
be removed emphasizing that if these barriers were removed then the developing
countries would have a better chance to get out of the poverty trap.
Mango exports to Saudi Arabia
The export of mangoes can be increased to Saudi Arabia with
the help of better presentation, proper grading and uniform packaging, says a
report on Monday.
A report prepared by the commercial section of Pakistan
Embassy in Jeddah said, Pakistan is ranked second in Saudi market after India
and followed by Sudan.
The report said that Pakistan's share is estimated at 37 per
cent to $6.4 million in Saudi mango market during 1999 while India exported
mangoes worth $7.2 million with 42 per cent share.
The report pointed out that Pakistani mangoes enjoy a
substantial share in Saudi Arabia and traditional consumers await the arrival of
Pakistan, Lanka review trade ties
The inaugural session of the 8th Pakistan- Sri Lanka Joint
Economic Commission (JEC) held on Wednesday to review existing economic
relations and discuss the prospects of enhanced bilateral trade between the two
Sri Lankan minister for internal and international trade,
commerce, shipping development and Muslim religious affairs, Rauf Hakeem and
Abdul Razzak Dawood, minister for commerce, industries and production,
co-chaired the inaugural session.
He said Pakistan ranks as the second largest trading partner
of Sri Lanka in the region in terms of total trade turn-over and emphasized on
tapping immense potential of co-operation in variety of fields in the economic
sector by pursuing the diversification of existing trade exchanges.
Misuse of export finance
The State Bank has asked all banks to liquidate all
remunerative (return earning) deposits created out of export refinance and repay
the same to the central bank within three working days.
In a letter written to heads of all banks SBP has also
advised them not to create fresh remunerative deposits out of the funds lent
under the export finance scheme. SBP has warned all banks that violation of
these directives would disqualify them from availing any refinance facility from
the State Bank.
Vietnam, Pakistan pledge to boost economic ties
General Pervez Musharraf and Vietnamese President Tran Duc
Luong held talks and pledged to boost economic co-operation, officials said.
Musharraf and the Vietnamese president expressed their "common desire"
to strengthen relations, notably economic and trade links, officials added.