April 08 - 14, 2002
IRAQ TO BUY SUGAR, FERTILIZER PLANTS
Iraq has agreed to purchase sugar and fertilizer
plants from Pakistan and set up its own flour mills in Karachi for
import of finished products instead of wheat.
This was the outcome of talks between Commerce
Minister Abdul Razak Dawood and 7-member delegation of Iraq led by
Deputy Minister for Agriculture Dr Basil Dalali on Wednesday, official
"Pakistan has welcomed Iraq's decision to set
up its flour mills near proposed grain silos in Karachi", said a
commerce ministry official. A joint delegation of Heavy Mechanical
Complex (HMC) and Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (PMTF) would be
dispatched to Baghdad on the request of the visiting delegation to
discuss technical details for export of sugar and fertilizer plants
there, the official said.
The delegation also expressed keen interest in
importing medicines, rice, wheat, chemical engineering machinery,
information technology products and electronics. During the current
fiscal year, Iraq had agreed to import 100,000 tons of wheat from
Pakistan but rejected consignments of 65,000 tons due to dispute over
So practically, Pakistan could export only 35,000
tons while the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) had to dispose it
off on very reduced rates. The deficit consignments of 65,000 tons are
now being exported by TCP through a private exporter Karim
In all Pakistan could export wheat worth $4
million. A consignment of 14,500 tons has been sent to Baghdad during
last week of March while two consignments of 30,000 tons and 11,000
tons would be dispatched on April 5 and 12 respectively, the meeting
Last year, Pakistan exported $8.2 million worth of
rice to Iraq against $4.5 million during seven months of the current
fiscal year. The question of rice did not come up for discussion
during the meeting.
TEXTILE QUOTA EXPORTS TO US DOWN BY 25PC
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers &
Exporters Association (PRGMEA) chairman Masood Naqi on Thursday said
that garment exports to the US had come to a complete halt that forced
the exporters to divert their products to the EU market.
In a statement, PRGMEA chief said this created a
cut-throat competition among the exporters, resulting in drastic fall
in per unit price of garment to the EU market.
Masood Naqi said that other textile quota exports
to the US has also dropped by over 25 per cent while exports of fabric
increased in some categories between 25 to 88 per cent.
The difference in value addition can be seen from
the fact that the average unit price of garment is $17.42 per kg
against average unit price of $4.93 per kg in case of fabrics. This
indicates an alarming trend which will be reflected in considerable
decline in foreign exchange earnings, he added.
PROTOCOL AGREEMENT WITH SYRIA SIGNED
Pakistan and Syria on Thursday agreed to further
enhance and strengthen the existing trade cooperation between the two
countries with the latter showing interest in Pakistani products like
fertilizers, wheat, rice and sugar.
"Syria needs fertilizers, wheat, rice and
sugar from Pakistan and we are looking what we can supply from these
products," Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood told after the
signing of a protocol agreement between the two countries at the
conclusion of the fourth session of Pakistan-Syria Joint Ministerial
IMPORT OF RECONDITIONED CARS MAY BE ALLOWED
The government intends to allow import of
"company-reconditioned cars" with certain duty reductions in
the budget 2002-03 if the local industry failed to double its
production by May 10, 2002 deadline.
Commerce Minister Razzak Dawood has summoned all
the car manufacturers on Tuesday to forewarn them about the government
move following president Gen Pervez Musharraf's displeasure over high
prices and artificial market shortage, official sources told on
IMPORT OF SHIPS EXEMPTED FROM DUTY
The federal government has exempted the import of
ships and all the floating crafts from the customs duty till the year
2020. The duty exemption to be allowed on import of ships and floating
crafts included — tugs, dredgers, survey vessels and other
specialized crafts purchased or bare-boat chartered by a Pakistani
entity and flying Pakistani flag.
The European Union has imposed 100 per cent checks
on import of frozen fish products from Pakistan following detection of
a contaminated consignment of shrimps at Rotterdam recently, sources
in the Ministry of Food told.
The incident rang alarm bells in the government
quarters particularly the ministries of commerce and food as China,
Vietnam and Indonesia lost significantly the EU market on same
grounds, i.e., high level of chloramphenicol in the fish products.
EPB SEEKS $50M FOR GUARANTEES
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) is seeking $50
million fund from the government for arranging guarantees and
collaterals for the construction companies aspiring to participate in
Afghanistan's reconstruction work jobs.
This was stated by Minister for State and Chairman
EPB Tariq Ikram at a dinner given by FPCCI vice-president Haroon
Rashid on Saturday.
EXPORT FINANCE UP
Exporters will get export finance from banks at 8
per cent during this month instead of 7.5 per cent.
The export finance rate has moved up to 8 per cent
as the State Bank has told banks that it would provide them export
refinance at 6.5 per cent in April 2002 up from 6 per cent in March.
As usual banks are free to charge 1.5 margin while offering export
finance to the exporters. In March the export refinance rate was fixed
at 6 per cent and banks were allowed to add another 1.5 per cent to it
while providing export finance to eligible exporters.