Oct 22 - 28, 2001
EU pledges $1bn concessions: Textile trade with
The European Commission on Tuesday promised
Pakistan textile trade concessions worth over one billion dollars in
what officials said was an unprecedented European Union effort to
boost the country's economy.
Proposals made by European Trade Commissioner
Pascal Lamy after hectic negotiations with Islamabad including
discussions with Pakistani Trade Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood in
Singapore over the weekend, call for the elimination of all EU tariffs
on Pakistan's exports of clothing to the EU.
Lamy has also asked EU governments to agree to a 15
per cent increase in Pakistan's textile export quotas to Europe.
Pakistan in turn had agreed to reduce its own
tariffs on European textiles, Lamy told a news conference. "The
proposed package will give Pakistan the best possible access to the EU
short of a free trade agreement," Lamy said.
The EU measures had been specifically tailored to
target clothing and textiles which accounted for three-quarters of
Pakistan's exports to the EU, the EU trade chief added.
Lamy's proposals are a vital part of a new EU drive
to improve relations with Pakistan, now seen as vital ally in
international efforts to clamp down on terrorism.
"I hope these improved concessions for
Pakistan will reinforce the EU's political and economic relations with
Pakistan and help the country in difficult circumstances," Lamy
Other EU initiatives expected in the coming weeks
include a planned signature of an EU-Pakistan trade agreement which
was put on ice after the 1999 military take-over.
Also in the EU pipeline is a first-ever package of
direct budgetary assistance for Pakistan.
The EU was focusing on Pakistan because it is in
"an exceptional situation," said Lamy, adding: "Trade
is a weapon of peace."
Import bill up by 14.32pc in July-Sept
The total import bill in July-September period
increased to Rs159.91 billion this year from Rs139.87 billion in the
corresponding period of last year, showing a positive growth of 14.32
The value of dutiable imports increased by 3.07 per
cent during the first quarter (July-September) of the current
financial year, and stood at Rs94.49 billion against Rs91.67 billion
over the corresponding period last year.
However, despite an over all increase in the value
of total imports during the first quarter of current financial year,
the import duty receipts declined by 17.8 per cent as it stood at
Rs14.06 billion during the first quarter against Rs17.1 billion netted
during the same period last year.
According to final figures released by Central
Board of Revenue on Thursday, the value of dutiable imports during the
first quarter of current financial year was Rs94.49 billion against
Rs91.67 billion over the corresponding period last year, showing an
increase of over 3 per cent.
Hand knotted carpet exports down by 28pc
Pakistan's exports of hand knotted carpets fell by
28 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal 2001-2002 to
$43.086 million from $60.622 million during the same period last year.
Exporters fear that their sales could decline more
than 50 per cent during the second quarter because of
"cancellation of orders after the last month's terror raids on
the American soil followed by retaliatory military action on
"The carpet exports have slid in spite of the
fact that we did not stop shipment our previous orders even after the
September 11 events," Pakistan Carpets Manufacturers and
Exporters Association (South) vice-chairman (elect) Nisar Mir said.
The carpet exports plunged by 14 per cent during
September to $21 million from $24.35 million in the corresponding
month last year.
Distribution rules to be framed: Razak
Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood on Thursday
said that a committee would be set up, which would frame rules for the
distribution of 15 per cent textile quota enhanced by the European
Union (EU) for Pakistani textile goods.
In an informal meeting with newsmen held in a local
hotel the minister said that he would, however, prefer to give this
extra quota to new-comers, joint ventures and new industrial units.
TCP considers Iraq's plea
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is
considering a request from Iraq that it replaces 52,000 tons of wheat
rejected on quality grounds, a corporation official said on Thursday.
At the beginning of October, Iraq rejected 45,000
tons of a 96,000-ton consignment of Pakistani wheat because Baghdad
objected that it contained sand and stones.
The total rejected had now risen to 52,000 tons,
the TCP official told Reuters from Karachi.
ADB facility to finance LC
The State Bank told banks on Wednesday that the
Asian Development Bank facility to finance confirmation of letters of
credit would cover up to 100 per cent of the LC value.
Earlier this year the Asian Development had
established a $100 million facility for this purpose.
In a circular issued to all banks SBP said that the
facility was negotiated between Pakistan and ADB keeping in view that
some international banks want confirmation of LCs opened by the banks
operating in Pakistan "for a variety of reasons."
Islamabad wants tariff cuts
Pakistan has entered the final round of discussions
with the 18-nation like-minded group of developing countries to form a
joint stand for forthcoming ministerial meeting of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) in Doha.
Pakistan is taking a stand that it would have no
problem working under a new WTO round provided its concerns relating
to implementation issues of the Uruguay Round were addressed, a
commerce ministry official told.