27 - Sep 02 , 2001
Pakistan, EU to take up quota issue on Sept 7
Pakistan and European Union authorities would meet
in Brussels on September 7 to find out a solution to the textile quota
restrictions and tariff issues. The commerce ministry sources term
these talks very crucial in view of the fact that three earlier rounds
of discussions have failed to bridge the wide gap on these two issues.
Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood would lead the Pakistani side in
the fourth round of talks starting September 7.
The two sides had, however, agreed to adopt a
moderate way to resolve the tariff disputes at the third round two
months back without leaving their respective stated positions.
The EU delegation had promised to respond to the
Pakistani suggestions within a week after consultation with EU policy
makers. Official sources said that Pakistan's hand-made fabrics
industry will be wiped out in the wake of flood of European products
if the EU demands on tariff were accepted.
The commerce ministry and Central Board of Revenue
had been in contact to devise a mechanism to reduce tariff
particularly for the hand-made fabrics that could ensure that
Pakistani industry remained unhurt. Pakistan has to review the
benefits it is going to get in return for tariff concessions to the
European Union in this regard, these sources said.
The EU and Pakistan have been struggling to get
more and more benefits for them to make their industries competitive
aiming at enhancing the trade of textile products. Three rounds of
talks have, however, failed to make any headway. Pakistan has been
asking the EU to recalculate the anti- dumping duties on Pakistan in
the light of the appellate body's ruling in case of India, these
Pakistan calls for greater trade ties with India
Pakistan said on Thursday it was keen on expanding
trade with India once outstanding political issues had been resolved.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has suffered from the
dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir but analysts say it has
"We are very, very keen on doing a lot of
trade. We hope the political issues get sorted. If they get sorted out
we will progress with trade," Abdul Razzak Dawood, Pakistan's
commerce and industry minister, told reporters in New Delhi. Dawood
was in India for a two-day meeting of trade ministers from the South
Asian Association of Regional Cooperation countries.
15 parties interested in wheat export
Fifteen interested parties have so far purchased
tender documents from TCP for the export of 200,000 tons of wheat from
The bids will be opened at the TCP head office at
Finance and Trade Centre. The offers have been invited for bulk,
bagged as well as containerized shipments.
The TCP has recently exported 100,000 tons of wheat
to Iraq in three shiploads. Pakistani wheat quality has been accepted
Acceptance of Pakistani wheat by Iraq, which had
earlier rejected certain shipments of wheat from India and Argentina
on quality consideration, has brought the name of Pakistan on the map
of international market as a quality exporter of wheat.
Smuggling of tea doubles
Smuggling of tea from Afghanistan to Pakistan has
doubled in the first six months of the current year, rising to 12,770
tons as compared to 6,630 tons in the same period last year. According
to Chairman, Pakistan Tea Association (PTA), Asghar Ali, Irani
importers have bought three times more tea from Kenya during the
period. Kenyan tea supply to Iran has increased to 1,528 tons this
year as against 434 tons in same period last year.
"Tea is being smuggled into Pakistan from
Afghanistan and Iran", the PTA chairman informed the Secretary
General Finance in a communication on Monday as according to him the
type of tea being imported from Kenya in Afghanistan and Iran is not
being consumed locally. "We expect total tea smuggling to go upto
30,000-40,000 tons smuggled into Pakistan in 2001," he informed
the finance ministry.
Minister to hold talks in US on free trade
Commerce Minister Razzak Dawood is scheduled to
arrive in the United States on Sept 5 to hold talks with US Trade
Representative Bob Zoellick on trade between the developed and the
According to sources, Mr Dawood will visit
Washington following negotiations in Latin America at the Uruguay
round of talks on trade issues impacting the relations between the
developed and the developing countries. He will be accompanied by
Pakistan's chief negotiator at the World Trade Organization talks and
ambassador at United Nations, Munir Akram.
Observers say that there is a large gap between the
industrialized countries and the third world over the free trade
issues. The third world countries maintain that the industrialized
countries have not implemented the commitments made to them, thus
placing them at a disadvantage.
Free trade zone planned in Gwadar
Minister for communication and railway Javed Ashraf
Kazi has said that Gwadar area will be made a free trade zone and
export processing zone will be set up for exporting industrial goods
to Gulf which is next door from here.
In an interview with APP during his visit to the
area when President Pervez Musharraf performed the ground breaking
ceremony of Coastal Highway Phase-II Gwadar to Pasni on Friday, he
said Coastal Development Authority under governor Balochistan will
carry out the plans for realising greater Gwadar area plan.