Mar 18 - 24, 2002
Slump in exports feared
Export of textile products is down by more than 10
per cent in February indicating the setting in of a marked declining
trend, which, the exporters fear, will gather momentum in the coming
Exporters doubt if total exports for 2001-2002 by
the end of June next would touch the figure of 8.75 billion dollars.
A price war in Europe and the US, the two principle
markets of Pakistani textile products, harassment of exporters by the
various official agencies and the worsening law and order situation in
the country are being blamed for the export slump. Business leaders
complain of receiving threat calls from various groups which are
distracting them from their normal business activities.
With the breaching of Rs60 a dollar parity on
Monday when greenback value came down to Rs 59.95, the exporters
foresee a fresh wave of rupee appreciation setting in. "This is
bound to affect the exports in coming days," a leading exporter
Export of nine textile products during February
amounted to $396.30 million. These products fetched $442.73 million in
January and $460.80 million in February last year.
In February six out of these nine main textile
products showed negative export growth. Cotton cloth export is down by
more than 23 per cent, knitwear by over 31 per cent, tents and
tarpaulin by about 59 per cent, towels by about 5 per cent, bed wear
by over 9 per cent and synthetic textiles by 6.24 per cent. Export of
other variety of textile products is also down by more than 30 per
Exporters contend that the advantage of tariff
concessions obtained from the EU have largely been offset by the
erosion of dollar value in last few months. "It has started a
price war among the exporters of Pakistan and also between Pakistani
exporters and those of other countries particularly China, India and a
few other countries," explained an exporter.
Dutiable imports fall by 0.27pc in 8 months
The value of dutiable imports fell by 0.27 per cent
to Rs251.713 billion during the July-Feb period of the current
financial year against Rs252.398 billion over the corresponding period
The value of total imports surged by 4.97 per cent
to Rs417.993 billion during the eight months of the current financial
year against Rs398.167 billion during the same period last year. On
the other hand the total imports bill during the seven months,
however, increased by 7.2 per cent to Rs375.364 billion against
Rs350.113 billion during the same period last year.
On monthly basis, the value of dutiable imports in
February fell by 6.36 per cent to Rs30.967 billion against Rs33.071
billion in the same month last year.
Exports of major items fall by 3pc
Pakistan's exports of rice, raw cotton, tobacco,
fertilizer manufactured, plastic materials, transport equipment and
gems fell drastically during July-February period of the current
financial year against the same period of the last year.
And exports during eight months of the current
financial year stood at $5.809 billion this year against $5.988
billion during the same period last year, a decrease of 2.99 per cent.
Provisional figures released by the Federal Bureau
of Statistics on Saturday for eight months of the current fiscal year,
showed the exports of rice fell by 16.74pc, raw cotton by 33.38pc,
tobacco by 22.93pc, fertilizer manufactured 59.39pc, plastic materials
by 56.85pc, transport equipment by 59.24pc, gems by 61.15pc, machinery
specialized for particular industries by 31.02pc and jewellry by
20pc duty on export of leather sought
Leather garment manufacturers have asked the
government to immediately impose 20 per cent duty on export of semi
finished and finished leather to ensure its availability to the
manufacturers of value-added leather goods.
The exports of leather garments and other products
during February 2002, declined by 45 per cent owing to higher cost of
finished and semi finished leather, which is being exported at the
cost of local value-addition leather industry.
Egypt keen on importing wheat
Egypt has shown keen interest in purchase of
300,000 tons of wheat from Pakistan to meet its domestic shortfall,
official sources said. This major breakthrough became possible after a
small quantity of 25,000 tons of wheat, recently imported by a private
Egyptian party, was well received, the sources said.
Despite a ban on wheat import from Pakistan for
being infected with 'Karnal Bunt' disease caused by smut-ball fungus
of genus 'Tilletia' the party imported this quantity.
Pakistan, UK trade ties grow
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Hilary
Nicholas Synnott has termed trade relations between the two countries
as pretty much satisfactory.
He said the trade relations between the UK and
Pakistan were growing at a rate of 15 per cent annually. He said 25
per cent of total foreign investment had come from the UK, reflecting
the interest of British investors in this country.
EU keen on increasing trade
European Union is deeply keen on increasing trade
cooperation with Pakistan and other South Asian countries, says deputy
head of EU delegation to Pakistan Pedro Martinz Vargas.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a seminar on
the EU's GSP Scheme and Regional Cumulation on Saturday. He said
Pakistan sends 33 per cent of its entire exports to the EU countries
and purchases 20 per cent of its total imports from there.