TRADE

 

Oct 28 - Nov 03 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

EU TARIFF RELIEF NOT WITHDRAWN

The European Union has said that Pakistan continues to enjoy special benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

"The textile relationship between the EU and Pakistan is unchanged," Bill Lakin, director general

 

of Euratex, the European Apparel and Textile Organization, stated while brushing aside recent reports that the EU has withdrawn the tariff concessions given to Pakistan last year.

According to reports reaching the Pakistani representative to the EU, also confirmed this, adding recent reports that the EU has agreed to withdraw duty-free textile benefits to Pakistan under the European Commission notice C228 of September 25, 2002 have been misinterpreted.

This scheme has been specifically tailored to target clothing and textiles, which account for three-quarters of Pakistan's exports to the EU. It is given under GSP scheme for countries fighting drugs trafficking.

The EU has removed import tariffs (around 7 per cent) on garment imports from Pakistan and increased the 14 existing quotas on textile and clothing imports from Pakistan by 15 per cent. In return, Pakistan has also improved access for EU textile and clothing exports, reducing duties for 2002 to three rates of five per cent, 15 per cent and 25 per cent a five per cent reduction compared with 2001.

Lately rumours have been floating that the EU has withdrawn the tariff concession under Indian pressure and exporters were upset about their shipments already in the highseas as well as under production, a leading garment exporter and vice chairman Pakistan Knitwear Association, Anis Marfani told.

According to Bill Lakin, Pakistan's preferential treatment is badly affecting the EU balance of textile and clothing trade with Pakistan in 2001, EU textile and clothing imports from Pakistan stood at 1.8 billion euros, while imports fell to 21 million euros from 39 million euros in 2000.

POLAND FOR BOOSTING TRADE WITH PAKISTAN

The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Poland has registered a steady growth in the last few years from $24 million in 1997 to $43.3 million in 2000.

This growth is conspicuous against the backdrop of the downfall of Polish trade figures with several countries of Asia and the Middle East", said Janusz Bylinski, Consul General of Poland in an interview to APP.

The underlying trend of this trade, he pointed out, is towards a balance: the Pakistani exports to Poland grew from around $4 million in 1995 to $21.5 million in 2000.

He said this financial year, the exports to Poland from Pakistan are anticipated at $36-37 million and the imports at $11 million.

SHRIMPS TO EU 100PC CHECKING CONDITION GOES

The European Union (EU) has waived off the condition of full (100 per cent) checking on shrimps consignments exported from Pakistan to its member states.

The European Commission (EC) early this year after detecting chloramphenicol in an export consignment of shrimps from Pakistan to a EU member country imposed the condition of making complete checking of consignments. But the condition of checking was proving an irritant for the exporters of seafood to the EU countries who were complaining that due to double inspection, one carried at home and another at import stage is causing a long delay and a lot of damage to the quality of seafood.

Consequently, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) took the matter with the EU through Pakistan's economic minister, Brussels. The EU was informed that strict checking is being done while issuing health certificate to export consignments.

Upon this the EU member countries carried out certain tests on shrimps consignments which were found favourable and satisfactory.

SAARC STATES

The Saarc member countries are to hold a fourth round of meeting on South Asia Preferential Trade Arrangement (SAPTA) on Oct 30, to further boost free trade among its members countries.

FTA WITH SRI LANKA

The final shape to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka is likely to be given by the new elected government in the next few months, reliable sources told.

ATT IMPORT VALUE UP

The import value of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) has surged by 50 per cent in the first quarter of the financial year 2002-03, over the corresponding year of 2001-02.

Official figurers, released by the Central Board of Revenue, showed the import value of ATT during July-Sept period of the current financial year stood at Rs4.5 billion against Rs3 billion over the corresponding year, showing an increase of 50 per cent.

EFFORTS ON TO BOOST FRUIT EXPORT

Balochistan Food and Agriculture Minister Haji Mohammed Qasim Khan Achakzai said the present government was making all out efforts to increase fruit and other product's exports from the province.

TEXTILE EXPORTERS AFRAID OF US STUDY

The US authorities have initiated a study of the competitiveness of several foreign textile and apparel suppliers, including Pakistan, in order to prepare itself for the quota phase-out by January 1, 2005.

But exporters fear that the investigation could be used against them by the US administration for imposing punitive as well countervailing duties on their exports.