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TRADE

Mar 11 - 17, 2002

Razak hints at allowing import of used cars

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood has hinted at opening import of second hand cars if local assemblers fail to ensure proper supplies to the market to meet the rising demand.

"I have been facing a lot of pressure to liberalize import of cars," he said in a launching ceremony of Zabardast Truck, introduced by Adam Motor Company in collaboration with China. He said the delivery time of new cars had once again gone up owing to surging demand of cars. "If this situation persists for a long time, pressure will increase on us to open import of second hand CBU cars," he said.

Sounding like a warning to the local assemblers, Razak urged the local industry to gear up its efforts in increasing the production so that the rising demand of cars could be met. He said that cars were now being sold on premium due to shortage in the market.

The government had imposed a ban on import of used cars in February 1994. Second hand car dealers have been putting pressures on the successive governments to open import of used cars so that customers could get cheaper cars as compared to costly locally assembled cars.

On other issues, he said the Engineering Vision was coming out next month, which would provide a roadmap to the local engineering industry specially the auto industry. "The vision was not fully approved yet as we intend to take the draft of the vision to the President shortly for approval," he added.

On indeginization, he said the government would not allow any assembler to roll back its deletion programme. Every assembler should now focus on its deletion programme to complete it within the given time frame.

Talking about export of auto parts and vehicles, he said it was good to hear that Zabardast vehicle would soon be exported to Bangladesh. Mr Razak said next week he was going to Japan to seek further technology transfer in the auto parts and engineering industry.

Cars being sold at premium price

Locally assembled cars have started selling on premium prices due to higher demand from the buyers and slow delivery from the manufacturing plants.

Authorized dealers of Suzuki, Toyota and Honda in various areas told on Tuesday that they are now selling on premium prices, ranging between Rs25,000 to Rs125,000, depending on engine power capacity.

They said that the demand of cars has outstripped lesser arrivals from the companies, resulting in upward price spiral. They added they have limited units available and the companies are not providing enough stocks.

WTCA to identify 4-5 key industries

The World Trade Centre Association (WTCA) of Los Angeles and Long Beach area has agreed to identify 4-5 key industries for trade mapping with Pakistan and a delegation will soon visit the country to do a survey.

The agreement was reached during a Sunday meeting between Sindh Governor Mohammedmian Soomro and senior officials of WTCA at the Wells Fargo Centre in Los Angeles. The meeting was arranged by Safi Qureshey, a member of Board of Investment (BoI) and Honorary Consul General of Pakistan and was attended by key entrepreneurs, including Barry R. Sedlik, President and CEO of WTCA's Los Angeles-Long Beach area the third largest industrial and business complex in the world, having over 88 cities.

Ghee, cooking oil exports to Kabul allowed

The government has allowed exports of all kinds of items, including vegetable ghee and cooking oil under duty drawback scheme to Afghanistan.

The government also notified negative list of items for exports to Afghanistan under duty drawback scheme, including dyes and chemicals, yarn all types, PVC and PMC materials, polyester materialized film, ball bearings, cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes, vegetable ghee and cooking oil (if exported from export processing zones or manufacturing bonds).

EPB to hold export convention

The Export Promotion Bureau will organize an 'export convention' in April for promotion of Pakistani exporters, Minister of State and EPB Chairman Tariq Ikram said on Wednesday.

Speaking as chief guest at inaugural session of the EC-Saarc workshop on the European Union's Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) and Regional Cumulation, Tariq Ikram said more export conventions would be held in other cities soon.

Exporters get Rs.50bn refund in 8 months

The Central Board of Revenue paid Rs.50 billion refund/rebate to exporters during the eight months of the current financial year against Rs35 billion paid in the same period last year, an increase of 42.85 per cent.

On the other hand, the tax authorities have paid Rs.4.5 billion during February this year against Rs4.3 billion it paid during the same month last year, showing a rise of 4.6 per cent.

The CBR paid the highest rebate/refund of Rs.7.05 billion to exporters during December 2001 against Rs.3.55 billion it paid during December 2000, showing an increase of 98.59 per cent.

Romania wants close trade links

A trade & industry delegation from Romania on Monday stressed the need for establishment of close links between the business communities of their country and Pakistan in the areas of investment and trade.

The prospects of such collaboration were discussed during a meeting between the delegation, comprising eight businessmen and senior officials of Romanian ministry of industries and resources, and Board of Investment chairman Waseem Haqqie.

Drug makers see 50pc rise in supply

Pharmaceutical manufacturers expect at least 50 per cent increase in supply of locally produced drugs to the war-torn Afghanistan this year. A large number of local manufacturers have already geared up their efforts to take a major slice in Afghanistan despite tense competition with Iran, China, Taiwan and Korea.