Feb-25 - Mar- 10, 2002
POF exports hit by armed forces needs
Indian massive deployment at Pakistan's borders has
seriously hampered Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Wah exports as
the complex has devoted all its production capabilities in meeting the
requirements of the country's armed forces.
It was stated by POF Wah Chairman Lt-Gen Abdul
Qayyum at a briefing held to mark the 50th anniversary of the
factories, which was attended by 60 diplomats and defence attaches of
over 50 countries, including the United States, China, Russia, and of
Europe, Scandinavia, Middle East, Africa and Asia, including Central
The POF has the potential of earning from $50
million to 100 million dollars a year through the export of
international quality arms and ammunitions.
The POF, he pointed out, had been negotiating with
over 40 countries around the globe for the exports of its light combat
firearms, assault rifles and ammunition, which ranged from machine gun
cartridges to mortars and bombs used in tanks and heavy artillery.
Lt-Gen Qayyum said POF exports at present were
fluctuating between 15 million dollars to 30 million dollars a year.
The POF, he added had been earning foreign exchange besides meeting
hundred per cent requirement of over 600,000-strong Pakistan armed
If the threats to Pakistan's security were
addressed and neutralised and the country could lower its guards, the
POF could concentrate on exports and earn substantial foreign exchange
which could be utilized on the welfare of the people, he added.
The basic task of the POF, he said, was to meet the
requirements of the Pakistan Army, which it had been doing
successfully and to the entire satisfaction of the military high
command. He pointed out that recently they had received an order for
the supply of ammunition from Sri Lanka which required at least two
years time to meet but the highly skilled and devoted manpower at the
factories met the demand within few weeks.
Philippines, BD to import 0.3m tons rice
Philippines has decided to import 250,000 tons of
rice from Pakistan while Bangladesh will be importing 50,000 tons of
rice very soon.
"We will shortly be calling tenders for the
export of 250,000 tons and 50,000 tons of rice to Philippines and
Bangladesh respectively," said Minister for Commerce, Industries
and Production Abdul Razak Dawood. Earlier, he said, exports to
Philippines were banned for being inferior in quality.
He told that Iraq, which had earlier imported
62,000 tons of rice from Pakistan, had again asked for more imports,
for which a government team would visit Baghdad shortly.
Razak said that informal trade with India was going
on through Singapore and Dubai, but there was a need to formalise
trade between the two countries. However, he said that there should be
an overall package for political and economic matters so that normal
trade relations could be restored between India and Pakistan.
Libya keen to buy wheat, rice
The minister of state and chairman Export Promotion
Bureau (EPB) Tariq Ikram said on Wednesday that Libya is keen to
purchase 50,000 tons rice and 0.2 million tons of wheat.
Briefing newsmen on his recent visit to Libya and
Kenya, he said there are good prospects of export to Libya, and, in a
short period of one to two years, goods worth $80 to $100 million
could be exported to Libya.
He said export of 50,000 tons rice could fetch
around $12 million and wheat between $25 to $30 million, but there are
also good prospects for export of textile and pharmaceuticals which
could earn upto $7 million and $5 million respectively.
Demand picks up slightly
Textile companies are reporting 'slight
improvement' in booking of export orders from Europe and a 'slight
pick up' in import demand from the US in last five weeks.
An analyst in the office of All Pakistan Textile
Mills Association (Aptma) indicates a 4 per cent increase in export
demand from European Union in the last one month. This export demand
has slightly pushed up yarn consumption in the domestic market.
Export finance rate falls
Exporters will get export finance from banks at 7.5
per cent in March instead of 8.5 per cent as the State Bank has made
another one per cent cut in its export refinance rate.
In a press release issued on Tuesday the SBP said
it had cut the export refinance to 6 per cent for March 2002. It said
that banks may charge a maximum spread of 1.5 per cent on this rate
while lending money to the exporters under the export finance scheme.
In other words export finance would be available at 7.5 per cent in
Rice export trade in jeopardy
Acute shortage of rice varieties like basmati
(385), Irri-9 and 386 (non-basmati), which are normally in great
demand in the world market, has put export trade of rice in jeopardy,
rice exporters said.
A sudden fall in cultivation and production of
these varieties is reported to be the main factor for the setback
which has put exporters in a fix and is also going to badly damage
country's export market, another exporter said.
Auto sales jump in January
The new year started with a good note for the auto
sector as sales of cars, bikes, light commercial vehicles (LCVs),
buses and trucks surged by 8.6 to 153 per cent in January 2002 as
compared to December 2001. However, tractor (Al-Ghazi and Millat) is
the only exception whose sales marginally declined by 1.8 per cent.
People bought 54 per cent more cars in January 2002, touching sales to
3,893 units from 2,523 units in December 2001.