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 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

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TRADE

Dec 17 - 30, 2001

EU duty removal to fetch extra $140 million

Textile exporters will add 150 million euro (about $140m) to the national exchequer from January next year as a result of duty-free imports from Pakistan by the European Union.

Calculated on the basis of removal of 7 per cent import tariff, the net rise in forex savings will be 150 million euro on the total annual export of 2.3 billion euro to the EU member states, textile sources said.

The free access of exportable products, notably textiles, to EU was followed by a positive role played by Pakistan as a front-line state in US-coalition war on terrorism.

"The scrapping of duties will make exports to EU more competitive," spinners said adding "it will give needed push to export in the post-Sept 11 trade losses."

The local exporters are eagerly awaiting for the EU decision on the proposed 15 per cent increase in the textile import quota which will turn the local industry into a hub of activity.

According to the latest export figures, exports registered 6 per cent decline to $710 million in November 2001, against last year's exports of $754 million.

The textile exports in November 2001, also registered a steep fall of 7.49 per cent at $420 million compared to last year's export of $454 million in the same period.

The textile sector, which had been eagerly looking forward to lifting of quota restrictions and tariff reduction by the US, is presently under a tremendous pressure owing to detention of textile goods worth millions of dollars by the US Customs.

The stiff resistance given by the US textile manufacturers against lifting of quotas and reduction in tariff on imports from Pakistan has dampened the hopes of getting any extra benefit from the US government, the chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Mohammad Kamran Chandna said.

POL products export up by 46.30pc

Exports of petroleum products during the five months of current fiscal year have shown an increase of 46.30 per cent to $85.79 million over the same period last year.

According to trade data compiled by Federal Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, the export of petroleum and petroleum products were estimated at $66.626 million during the corresponding period last year.

The quantity of petroleum exports stood at 453,999 tons during July-November 2001, while it was 278,785 tons. The average price of petroleum products has declined from $237.68 to $188.96 per ton.

The export during November 2001 has jumped by 149.93 per cent to $14.121 million over October 2001, but declined by 35.70 per cent to $21.254 million compared to November 2000.

The quantity was estimated at 90,465 tons during November 2001 while it was 35,311 tons in October 2001 and 97,739 tons in November 2000.

51.49pc rise in textile machinery import

The import of textile machinery, construction and mining equipments with metal groups continues to show rising trend in the last five months, indicating some business activity in these fields when virtually an all round sluggish investment environment prevails.

Overall, the import of machine group during July-November this year is down by a small margin of four per cent as over imports in last fiscal, indicating an industrial stagnation. In figures, the import of machine group in last five months claimed $794 million as against $830 million in same period of 2000-2001. But the import of textile machinery continues to show rising trend. It was worth $197.44 million in July-November 2001 period, which is 51.49 per cent higher than $130.33 million worth of import in the same period of year 2000.

Bidder rejects TCP offer

The highest bidder in cotton export tender has rejected the TCP's counter offer for raising the bid price by two cents per pound, official sources said on Thursday.

The TCP received the highest bid from Sincot of Singapore at 36.66 cents per pound for the export of 5,000 bales of cotton grade box-III staple length 1-1/16" of 2001-2002 crop.

Pakistan may sign trade pact with BD

Pakistan is likely to sign a comprehensive trade agreement with Bangladesh to enhance trade relations between the two countries, a highly-informed source told.

The agreement will be discussed by President General Pervez Musharraf with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khalida Zia during his brief stay in Dhaka while on his way to home from China on December 24.

The president will greet Ms Zia for becoming prime minister for the second term and ask her for furthering trade relations between the two countries. "This will be a goodwill visit by President Musharraf to greet the BD prime minister, however, trade related issues are likely to dominate the short hours meeting between the two leaders," the source said.

The two leaders will also discuss the possibility of reducing import duties on trade items by the two countries. However, the source said that it had not yet been decided to what extent the duties could be slashed.

Zero-rated export to Kabul, CARs

The government is considering allowing zero-rated export of more items via land route to Afghanistan to help the US-led coalition in reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

The items would also be exported at zero rate of duty to the Central Asian Republics (CARs), a reliable source in the Commerce Ministry told.