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

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TRADE

April 01 - 07, 2002

PAKISTANI EXPORTS TO S. ARABIA UP BY 22PC

During the first seven months of the current financial year until January 2002, Pakistani exports to Saudi Arabia have registered a growth of 22 per cent, statistics reveal.

Exports to Saudi Arabia have gone up by $34 million, from $149 million to $173 million over the same seven months period last year.

Pakistani exports to Saudi Arabia has been steadily rising over the last few years. In 1998-1999, it was recorded at $185 million. The next year it went up to $215 million, whereas during the previous financial year of 2000-2001 it was recorded at $273 million, Pakistan's commercial consular in Jeddah Mohammad Saleem told.

As per the details available, the garments exports recorded the highest growth of 56 per cent, which was followed by bed sheets- 33 per cent. Pakistan is currently the leading exporter of bed sheets to Saudi Arabia. Other items in which it has major share in this market include raw cotton, yarn, tents and canvas, cotton bags, leather gloves, leather clothing, etc. The market demand of Pakistani towels, garments and hosiery items is reported to be rising in the Saudi market.

The increase in Pakistani exports to Saudi Arabia is more significant in view of the overall slump seen in the export markets after September 11 events. During the same period, Pakistan's overall exports have registered a decline of about 1.5 per cent as compared to the previous year.

Among the 197 countries, to which Pakistani goods are exported, growth in exports were registered in case of three markets only. Besides Saudi Arabia, the Pakistani export markets which registered growth included the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The increase in exports have been registered in cotton yarn, cotton bags/sacks, towels, hosiery, fish, fruit, vegetables, synthetic textiles, surgical instruments, sports goods, spices, metal manufacturer, machinery (non-electrical) and footwear, the report by the commercial wing of the Pakistani Consulate in Jeddah highlighted.

WHEAT EXPORT TO EGYPT BEING STREAMLINED

An official delegation would leave for Cairo soon to hold talks with the Egyptian official for the removal of quarantine conditions on wheat import from Pakistan, official sources said Tuesday.

Besides the TCP officials, the team will comprise technical experts who would sort out the matter with their Egyptian counterpart.

The sources said once the quarantine condition is removed Pakistan could easily cater to the wheat import needs of Egypt up to one million tons per annum. Egypt imports around six million tons of wheat.

Despite a ban on wheat import from Pakistan for being infected with 'Karnal Bunt' disease caused by smut-ball fungus of genus 'Tilletia', a private party of Egypt recently imported around 25,000 tons wheat.

TEA IMPORT DUTY CUT TO 15PC DEMANDED

Leading tea packers and importers forecast that the smuggling of tea by the end of fiscal 2001-02 will range between 35,000 to 40,000 tons as compared to 25,000 to 30,000 tons in 2000-01.

Tea consumption in Pakistan stands at 140,000 tons per annum and a total of 25,000 to 30,000 tons of tea arrived through illegal channels in 2000-01 while the rest of quantity was imported.

Pakistan imported 68,262 tons of tea ($108 million) in July-February 2001-02 as compared to 77,417 tons worth of $147 million in the same period of 2000-01, showing a decline of 26 per cent in terms of value and 12 per cent in quantity.

Import of tea in February 2002 stood at 8,685 tons ($14 million) as compared to 9,860 tons ($18 million) in the same month of 2001.

COMPENSATORY

The economic coordination committee (ECC) on Thursday allowed compensatory duty drawback (CDDB) on locally produced polyester products.

The CDDB will be equal to the difference between the duty drawback (DDB) rates applicable at any time and the DDB, which would be admissible if the polyester staple fibre was imported on payment of customs duty. The duty drawback will be effective retrospectively from March 1, said an official announcement.

PAKISTAN, UK DISCUSS TRADE TIES

The chairman, Board of Investment, Waseem Haqie held a meeting with Chief Executive, UK Trade Department, Sir David Wright to discuss further strengthening of trade relations between the two countries and briefed him on investment opportunities in Pakistan.

David Right appreciated the economic reforms introduced by the government for revival of the economy, Waseem Haqie told APP after his meeting on Wednesday.

$900M LOSS IN EXPORTS DUE TO FALLING PRICES

Despite moderate to impressive increases in quantity of goods, export earnings have suffered a massive loss of nearly $900 million during 18 months ending December 2001 due to fall in unit prices.

Officials say that the quantity and price effect on exports is calculated on the basis of detailed data available on 27 items, covering 78.8 per cent of the total exports.

In the first half of fiscal 2002, the second SBP quarterly report says, the deterioration in unit prices has resulted in an overall loss of $182 million in export earnings. Similarly, falling international prices cost the country $703 million during fiscal 2001.

GOVT MAY SLASH 5PC DUTY ON LPG IMPORT

The government is likely to slash import duty on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from 10 per cent to 5 per cent in the financial year 2002-03. Informed sources told on Tuesday that the issue had already been discussed with the relevant stakeholders, however, it would be announced in the forthcoming budget.

Sources said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had asked the government to allow the LPG gas at zero rate of import duty.