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June 11 - 17, 2001

Country likely to earn $9.16 billion in exports

The country's exports during first 11 months of the present fiscal totalled around $8.25 billion as against $7.69 billion, during the corresponding period of last year, showing an increase of 7.2 per cent or $1.2 billion.

Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production, Abdul Razak Dawood while giving the details at a press conference on Thursday, expressed his confidence that the country will realize around $9.16 billion of exports this year, coming close to budgetary target of $9.2 billion. He, however, added that as per the target of $10 billion set by himself, the country has achieved around 92% of that target.

The minister said, the crossing of $9 billion mark in exports will be a record in the history of country. The exports in the month of May, the minister informed, amounted to $793 million showing over 93 per cent achievement against the target. The exports of $793.1 million in May are also up by 7.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent when compared to previous month and the corresponding month of last fiscal, respectively.

The minister underlined global slowdown with less industrial activity and fall in commodity prices as the major factors of not exactly meeting the exports target. "We have lost at least $100 million due to fall of commodity prices in terms of rice exports." Razak Dawood said, the country registered 30 per cent increase in rice exports in terms of quantity this year, but 3 per cent decrease in value terms, adding, "we have exported all of irri-6 and irri-9 this year, and the new crop will have no backlog."

The minister in response to a question informed the newsmen that the Trade Policy for 2001-2002 will be announced on June 29. Dawood said, in the backdrop of Chinese Premier's recent visit to Pakistan we are hopeful of having enhanced bilateral trade with China, adding, a Chinese delegation is coming here in this respect. To a question, he said, polyester fibre and grey cloth are among the items to be exported to China, adding, our exports to China will register increase next year.

Pakistan emerges on wheat export map

Pakistan emerges on the world wheat export map on Friday when loading of the first consignment of 35,000 tons begins aboard mv Iran at Port Qasim. This loading marks the beginning of shipment of 100,000 tons of wheat to Iraq for which, the Chairman of Trading Corporation of Pakistan Syed Masood Alam Rizvi said, full arrangements have been made to ensure "quality and delivery on schedule".

Addressing a press conference in his office on Thursday in presence of senior executives of TCP, officers of Passco, the official wheat supplying agency, representatives of the shipping company and the pre-shipment inspection contractor, Syed Masood Alam Rizvi expressed complete confidence that Pakistan's 'hard winter' quality wheat would conform to the requirement set for this staple food by the Iraqi government.

Iran to buy 45,000 tons rice

The Government Trading Corporation (GTC) of Iran has asked the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to submit offers for supply of 45,000 metric tons of rice. The demand is for three rice varieties, in equal quantity.

The GTC has requested the TCP to make arrangement for the supply of 15,000 metric tons each of Irri-9, Basmati-385 and long grain 386 rice. In this connection, the Chairman TCP, Syed Masood Alam Rizvi immediately called a meeting of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), on Wednesday. The chairman TCP discussed the modalities and details with the REAP members about the requirements of GTC, Iran.

After detailed deliberations it was decided that rice exporters should be asked submit their offers to TCP for all three varieties by 1600 hours (4pm) on Thursday, (June 6), along with 2 per cent bid bond of their offered price through bank pay order.

Duty-free import of plants envisaged

Duty-free import of plants and machinery will be allowed to private sector to boost its production for fulfilment of growing requirements of the agriculture sector. According to official sources new fertilizer policy envisages long-term measures to enhance production of fertilizers to meet ever increasing needs of the growers.

Besides the raw material for the use in fertilizers would also be duty-free and the investors may avail the opportunity to boost their production. However, the government is considering to gradually reduce subsidy on gas supply rates for the factories to lessen extra- financial burden on the national exchequer.

Orix signs joint venture

ORIX Corporation, Japan's largest leasing company signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Majid Al Futtaim Investments LLC of UAE one of the leading business groups in the UAE to form a leasing company in the UAE, a press release issued by ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited on Tuesday, said.

Pakistan, Italy to boost defence cooperation

Pakistan and Italy reached a consensus on Thursday to boost cooperation in the field of defence production. The signing of minutes ceremony was held in the Defence Production Division between Pakistan and Italy, marking the cooperation between the two countries.

The minutes were signed by Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, Secretary-General and Director-General, National Armament, on behalf of Italy while the Secretary, Defence Production Division, Air Marshal Zahid Anis( retired), represented Pakistan. Both sides expressed the view that this was the first step towards increasing defence cooperation between the two countries.