Feb 12 -
Exports rise by 17.3pc in Jan
Pakistan's exports registered an increase of 17.3
per cent in January this year but $10 billion dollar target set for
the current year still looked difficult.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, Commerce
Minister A Razzak Dawood showed excitement that the exports were up by
17.3 per cent in January 2001 over the same period in 2000, which is
encouraging for us.
However, he conceded that the achievement of $10
billion target was still very difficult, because of an overall low
increase in exports during the first six months of the current
He also said that trade gap was further widened
from $938 million of December 2000 to $1.1 billion in January.
Giving the details, he said there was 9.6 per cent
increase in exports during the first half of 2000-2001. He regretted
that the month of December was poor to increase exports due to almost
one week holidays on account of Eid-ul-Fitr.
"I was very worried because of the declining
trends in exports in December, but things improved in January,"
he said and added that February was likely to be good.
"But," he said, "now I am worried about March and
April, which are traditionally weak months as far as exports are
Nevertheless, the commerce minister pointed out
that May and June would be good to have somewhat better exports
compared to last financial year.
He said target of exports for first six months of
2000-01 was fixed at $5.636 billion and, "and we could manage
$5.221 billion leaving behind a gap of about $400 million." So
far, he said, 93 per cent export target was met.
Responding to a question, Dawood said the exports
of rice, leather, engineering goods and chemicals were good while
textile remained average as it registered an increase of only six per
100% rise in imported milk powder price
The price of imported skimmed milk powder has
increased by 100% whereas the vegetable fat milk is costlier by 17%.
The rise in prices has created a shortage in the local market.
Importers said the price hike is the result of
phenomenal global price hike.
Milk powder prices in Europe has jumped to $2,300
per metric tons in January from $1,400 in July last.
In the local market, the prices of Ireland skimmed
milk rose by 100% to Rs6,000 per 25 kg bag in the domestic market in
just one month from Rs3,000 per 25 kg bag.
Trade promotion with Japan
Pakistan and Japan are working together in many
fields including bilateral trade, despite sharp differences on signing
of the Comprehensive Treaty for Banning (nuclear) Tests (CTBT) by
Pakistan, remarked the Federal Commerce and Industries Minister Razzak
Dawood on Tuesday.
Speaking at the launching of Pakistan-Japan
Business Forum, at the residence of Japanese Consul General Kazumi
Dekiba, the commerce minister said, "he will lead a delegation of
the forum to meet the Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on
Wednesday. The delegation will discuss bilateral trade and economic
The bilateral trade figures, he said, give a
surplus balance in favour of Japan but then there is an immense
potential to expand where Pakistan can gain and make a big leap.
There will be a marked change in the trade pattern
next year, following an impressive reduction in duty rates in new
budget, the minister said, adding, "negotiations are being held
with the Central Board of Revenue on this issue".
MoU signed to import Indian tea
Tea associations of Pakistan and India signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday under which tea supply
from India to Pakistan in the current year will go up by more than
twice in quantity to seven to eight million kilograms.
Rama Shankar Jhawar, the chairman of the visiting
Indian Tea Association (ITA) delegation, offered to further push up
tea supply from his country to Pakistan upto 15 to 20 million
kilograms from 2002 at "affordable prices".
Shoe industry exempted
The federal government has exempted the shoe
industry from payment of duties and taxes on import of unit soles and
heals for use in export footwear.
The exemption has been allowed through a Central
Board of Revenue (CBR) notification No SRO 79(I)/2001, dated Feb 6,
2001. It would be available for the footwear manufacturing on the
condition that the imported items are re-exported.
Sea freight to US, Europe up
The India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Conference (IPBC)
lines announced an increase in freight to Europe and United States by
$150 per TEU container, effective from March 1, 2001.
The shipping circles, while disclosing this on
Tuesday, further stated, "the freight hike will apply to all
exports originating from Pakistan to UK, North Continent,
Mediterranean and Scandinavian countries".
This will be the first hike of this year, effected
by all the IPBC-member lines which comes at the heels of a shortfall
in export target. Last year, these lines enhanced their freight
charges thrice to Europe and North Continent.
The federal government has exempted import of
electrical and mechanical machinery for Ghazi Barotha Hydro Power
Project from payment of Customs Duty.
A notification No C.1(26)/Mach/95-PT, dated
February 6, 2001, exempts such imports by contractors from Customs
Duty, which currently ranges between 30 to 35 per cent. These
contractors would now be exempted from the duty in excess of 2 per
Rice exports fetch $235.21m
The rice exports has surged by 30% or 222,330
metric tons to fetch more than $235.21 million during first seven
months of current fiscal year.
The Controller of Quality Review Committee (QRC)
Chaudhry Ikramullah said on Saturday that total rice export was
estimated at 963,103 tons till January 31, 2001. About 740,773 tons of
rice was exported during the same period last year.