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

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TRADE

July 01 - 07, 2002

TURKEY RAISES TEXTILE QUOTA BY 3,000 TONS

Turkey has enhanced Pakistan's textile quota by additional 3,000 tons for the years 2002 and 2003 and has promised to provide tariff concessions on Pakistani exports of 20 other products by September this year.

The two sides have, however, failed to sign agreements on exchange of trucks for transportation of goods as Turkey wanted maximum axle load not exceeding 6 tons on which Pakistan's commerce minister was not sure of the implications. The confusion whether to use international law on trucking business or that of the home countries also persists.

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood told a news conference on Tuesday that increase in textile quota would have a financial benefit of $11 million per year to Pakistan.

An agreement to enhance Pakistan's textile quota was signed during the joint ministerial conference (JMC) last week in Turkey. Pakistani side was led by the commerce minister.

The agreement also allowed Pakistan to export an additional 2,000 tons of denim, technically known as 2(A) category, a textile products with big demand in that country.

"We wanted greater market access for two years (2002 and 2003) but they agreed to increase the quota by another 3,000 tons with the provision that we could put in any category in that limit," said the minister.

He said that Pakistan also wanted the same facility for the year 2004. Verbally they have agreed but both sides would meet again in September on the subject, said the minister expressing the hope that this would also applicable for 2004.

He, however, said that the government was now considering how to distribute this quota among the exporters. Three options were currently under consideration including allocation on the basis of last year export performance, auction for open competition or first-come first-served basis.

EDIBLE OIL BILL DROPS BY $50M

Pakistan has achieved import substitution to the tune of $50 million in edible oil during 2001-02 as a result of increase in production of oilseed crops, an official source told on Saturday.

The statistics for the period July-May 2001-02, show that the country spent approximately $354 million on the import of soyabean and palm oil, that is, 15.37 per cent less than the same period of previous year.

The quantity of edible oils imported was about 10,91,713 tons, denoting a decrease of 4.91 per cent. The difference in the decrease in value and quantity is explained by a substantial decline in import of the much costlier soyabean oil in the current financial year and an 80,000 ton increase in import of palm oil.

0.4M TONS WHEAT CONTRACTS FINALIZED

Minister for Food and Agriculture Khair Muhammad Junejo has said that export contracts of 400,000 tons of wheat had been finalized and shipments were being exported at a faster rate.

"Sale of wheat to World Food Programme (WFP) for export during 2002-03 has been allocated at 217,479 tons", he further stated.

Talking to the members of the Punjab Floor Association, he said on Thursday that the quantity of wheat exported by private traders reported by collectorates of customs from 1/5/2002 to 7/6/2002 was 30,225 tons and contracted quantity from public sector for Iraq and African countries was 156,142 tons. These export contracts have resulted in the stabilization of prices of wheat, he added.

Junejo said that in new budget, importers could import silos for wheat storage on just 5 per cent duty. He urged the association members to bring their recommendation for categorising silos parts in order to avoid any misuse of this facility.

LIMITS ON EXPORT FINANCING

The State Bank has asked all the banks to furnish up to July 15 their fresh requirements for export refinance for the fiscal year 2002-03.

In a letter issued to all the banks on Wednesday, the State Bank said that the banks would meanwhile continue to enjoy their old limits sanctioned for the fiscal year July-June 2001-02.

The central bank determines the export refinance limit of a bank on the basis of its equity.

OMCS ALLOWED TO IMPORT HSD

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) on Monday approved the import of High Speed Diesel (HSD) by oil marketing companies on cost competition basis.

The meeting, which was presided over by Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz, was of the view that the new decision will allow more competition amongst the oil companies and as such lead to benefits to the consumer.

RD ON SUGAR IMPORT TO RISE BY 10 PER CENT

The government has decided in principle to increase the regulatory duty on sugar import from 20 per cent to 30 per cent, informed sources told on Monday.

It has also been agreed to that the government would help arrange a bridge financing of Rs1.2 billion for the sugar industry for a period of three months to clear export surplus of around 200,000 tons.

GOOD EXPORTERS TO GET 50PC REFUND

The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) will develop profiles of the exporters to "identify good exporters who would get 50 per cent refunds pre-audit." This was stated by CBR member (direct taxes) Vakil Ahmad Khan while talking to reporters on Saturday.

"These exporters would get the balance of refunds post-audit," he said. He said the government had already constituted a committee to look into the problems of delays in the release of refunds to the exporters. The committee was supposed to submit its report in one month.