Aug 06 -
12 , 2001
Unofficial trade with Kabul stands at $941m
Unofficial trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan
has been estimated nearly $941 million during the year 2000-2001, out
of the $1,227 million total exports of Afghanistan, a survey report of
the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank disclosed.
The survey report, "Afghanistan Watching
Brief", jointly compiled by the UNDP and the World Bank revealed
that the value of unofficial trade with Pakistan was sharply lower in
2000-2001 as compared to 1996-97. The report disclosed that the bulk
of exports from Afghanistan worth $941 million found their way into
Pakistan and about $140 million to Iran, while the rest $146 million
found its market in the Central Asian Republics including Uzbekistan
and Tajikistan through unofficial routes.
The survey said that the official exports of
Afghanistan with Pakistan are estimated only $98 million.
Afghanistan's indigenous export items are fruits, nuts and other
primary materials. In 1999, Pakistan was ranked as the largest trading
partner of Afghanistan (exports to Pakistan $90m, imports $36m), Japan
was ranked second with total trade of $74 million, while Kenya and
India followed on the list.
The survey report covers all major sectors
including food security, trade with neighbouring countries,
agriculture, health, education and de-mining of the war-ravaged
country. The survey did not observe significant unofficial exports to
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Afghanistan's bilateral trade
with Turkmenistan consisted of $38 million of imports and $1 million
Total size of unofficial imports of Afghanistan is
estimated $176 million of which $94 million were imported from Iran
and $82 million from Pakistan, while unofficial trade from Central
Asian Republics were insignificant in 2000. According to the survey
report that was launched in June 2001, the unofficial imports from
Pakistan totalled $82 million, consisting of wheat, sugar, rice,
edible oil, fertilisers and other daily use items.
Khatami wants better trade ties
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said on Sunday
he wanted to strengthen economic links with Pakistan and improve ties
in the "battle against terrorism," radio said.
Khatami made the declaration during a meeting with
Pakistan's deputy foreign minister, Inamul Haq, who is visiting Iran,
the radio said.
"The two countries have suffered considerably
from terrorist damage, violence and inter-faith conflicts," added
Khatami who received a message from Gen Pervez Musharraf on his recent
meeting with India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. "We
must fight against those who do not understand the language of
strength," added Khatami, in reference to acts of violence
against minority sect in Pakistan.
Iran to import motor spirit
Iran has agreed to import Pakistan's surplus motor
spirit (premier) provided it meets Tehran's specifications. Official
sources told that Pakistan had asked Iran to import its motor spirit
which became surplus after the commissioning of Mid-Country Refinery
at Mehmood Kot, Multan, at a recent Joint Ministerial Commission
The Iranian side informed Pakistan that it would
import the item on international terms and conditions, provided that
the "specification and cargo size requirement were met."
Experts believe that export may not be possible as the specifications
of Iranian motor spirit are different from those of Pakistan.
Problems confronting export trade came up for
discussion in a meeting held on Thursday between minister of state and
chairman EPB, Tariq Ikram and CBR chairman Riaz Ahmed Malik.
Tariq Ikram briefed the CBR chairman about the
export performance of the last year in which exports of the country
crossed $9 billion mark for the first time in the history of the
Pakistan products store in Sharjah
The Pakistani products store, specializing in the
exclusive sale of a wide variety of Pakistani products under one roof,
was inaugurated in Sharjah on Thursday.
This is the second store in the UAE selling only
Pakistani products. It has been established by a private sector group
run by two brothers, which pioneered in selling single country
products by opening a similar Pakistani products store in Abu Dhabi
four years ago on an experimental basis.
10pc duty on import of aircraft parts
The government has notified 10 per cent duty on
import of aircraft spares and parts if imported by domestic airlines
for maintenance of their aircraft within the country.
To boost the domestic airlines the Central Board of
Revenue (CBR) will now charge only 10 per cent ad val customs duty on
the import of spares and parts. The action will be deemed to be
effective from June 18, 2001.
Import of Indian sugar allowed
The government has allowed the import of 50,000
tons of sugar from India through the Wagah border, notwithstanding a
campaign launched by the local sugar industry against the government,
a senior official told on Wednesday.
"The Letters of Credit (LCs) for the import of
109,000 tons sugar have expired but LCs worth 50,000 tons are still
valid. We have opened Wagah border to allow this quantity to come
in," said the official of the ministry of industries and
production. The decision came following an examination and
verification by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet of
a report submitted by the State Bank governor that no backdated or
revised LC was issued to any sugar importer.
Preferential trade facility
Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA)
chairman Aslam Ahmed Karsaz has drawn the attention of the government
towards such developments where preferential trade facility is being
given by the US government to some countries ahead of phasing out of
Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA) by the year 2005.