TRADE

 

July 20 - Aug 04, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

$10.4BN EXPORT TARGET SET IN TRADE POLICY

Pakistan's new trade policy unveiled on Monday seeks to achieve an export target of $10.4 billion and projects imports to be valued at $11.1 billion which, in tandem, would slash the trade deficit to $700 million during the fiscal year 2002-03.

 

The policy, announced on radio and television by Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood, offers incentives for special zones and rewards to exporters for introducing new products and capturing new markets.

The import target has been nudged up by $100 million, and that of export, by $300 million, from last year's targets. This means that imports are seen to grow by 7.4 per cent, and exports by 13.4 per cent, over the targets set for the recently-ended fiscal year.

The government has fixed this target on positive assumptions like greater market access, spin-off from investments in textile sector, and a continued inventory build-up in Europe and the USA. The government also presupposes greater access to export finance, stable prices of raw cotton in the international market and a stable to favourable exchange rate. Implicit in the government's estimation is its confidence that the trade environment will not be faced with any unforeseen challenges.

The minister said that prices of Pakistani products will remain under pressure and further squeeze exporters' profit margins due to inadequate physical infrastructure, high price of utilities, and uncompetitive interest rates.

To face this challenge, Duty and Taxes Remission for Export (DTRE) Rules, 2001, would be revised to make them more user-friendly in consultation with the CBR to find a way to allow duty drawback and sales tax refund on domestically-procured, tax-paid inputs in sectors where there is an unavoidable reliance on substantial domestic procurement.

EXPORTS TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES

The government on Monday announced to launch a special campaign for enhancing exports by around 20 per cent to the African countries.

Trade Policy 2002-03, says that this year, the government would initiate a campaign to focus on Africa, where Pakistan's current export level did not match the growing potential of the African markets.

The government has earmarked sufficient funds for this special effort, said the policy.

Through a combination of market access, enhancement initiatives, strong promotional measures and supplier credit arrangement, it was proposed to increase the share of African market in Pakistan exports by at least 20 per cent.

TURKISH TEXTILE QUOTA HIKE TO BOOST EXPORTS

Access to additional textile quota of $11 million granted by Turkey will serve as catalyst towards bolstering country's textile exports. Briefing the media on Monday , the denim manufacturers termed the grant of extra 3,000 tons of textile related exports quota as major achievement of the commerce minister.

Aggressive policy pursued by the government towards getting new market access, they viewed, would jack up exports to new heights.

Seven leading denim manufacturers said that enhanced production capacity of denim material would enable the country to exploit the opportunity in an effective manner to export up to 2,000 tons of extra denim to Turkey.

PAKISTAN, S. LANKA FREE TRADE BY 2005

Pakistan and Sri Lanka finalized on Wednesday a three-year plan to phase out existing duties that would finally culminate into a completely free bilateral trade regime by 2005.

Authentic sources told that under the phase-out plan, 34 per cent of prevailing duties on the import of each others products would stand eliminated during the current year.

The remaining duties would be done away with at the rate of 33 per cent each during next year and the year after. In this way the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries would be fully in place by 2005.

TIN-PLATES IMPORT

The minister for commerce and industries, Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said for the first time in Pakistan's history the government had taken an action under anti-dumping laws to protect the local industry. Addressing post-trade policy press conference, he said that Pakistan had imposed 23 per cent extra duty on import of tin-plates from South Africa as a provisional action and had called for an explanation from that country before imposing a final penalty. Tin-plate constitutes around 36 per cent of total imports from South Africa.

PALM OIL IMPORTERS NOT BOOKING

Pakistan's palm oil market remained mixed to bullish over the past week but importers were reluctant to book new orders because of high international prices, dealers said on Tuesday.

"The importers are cautious on daily fluctuations in palm oil prices at international market," said Akber Puri, a palm oil importer in Karachi. "It (the market) is likely to follow a mixed trend in coming days."

EXPORTS TO AFGHANISTAN MAY GO UP

The import value of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) increased by 6.787 per cent in the financial year 2001-02, and is likely to register growth in the current fiscal year.

Officials sources told on Saturday that the value of ATT during the previous fiscal year stood at Rs13.594 billion against Rs12.730 billion in the year 2000-01, showing an increase of over six per cent.

SECOND HAND GARMENTS IMPORT TOUCHES RS2BN

A double digit inflation, enormous rise in stitching charges by the tailors, falling living standards, rising utility bills cost, soaring prices of essential commodities and increasing prices of locally made fabrics and readymade garments have pushed up the demand of used garments in the markets.

As a result of this, import of second-hand clothing from Europe and America has touched to nearly Rs2 billion in 2001-02 as compared to Rs1.4 billion in 2000-01.