TRADE

 

Nov 04 - 10 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

SRI LANKA LIFTS BAN ON RICE IMPORT

Sri Lanka has lifted a two-year long ban on rice import and cut duty, removing the last ditch in the way of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan.Chairman, Rice Exporters Association (REAP), Abdul Rahim Janoo, told APP the ban imposed in 1999, had been lifted with effect from October 31, 2002.

 

Sri Lanka has reduced import duty on rice from Rs7 to Rs5 per kg, allowing Pakistani rice exporters to take advantage of the proximity.

He said that immediately after the lifting of this ban, Pakistani exporters were successful in securing orders for the supply of 7,000 tons of rice from Sri Lankan importers.

Janoo was of the view that the removal of ban on rice import would pave way for the successful conclusion of Free Trade Agreement between the two countries as this was the last ditch in the way of this accord.

"When Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood will sign FTA on November 5, with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Pakistani exporters will get a further cut in duty by 50 per cent on the export of rice to Colombo.

He said Pakistan would be able to export 'simba' rice to Sri Lanka at $180 per ton. This will cost Rs24 a kg to Pakistani exporter in Sri Lanka at an import duty of Rs2.50 per kg under FTA.

He pointed out that Sri Lanka was pre-dominantly a large market for Pakistani rice exporters before this ban. "We were supplying about 125,000 to 130,000 tons of rice to Sri Lanka which used to import about 200,000 annually two years ago," Janoo added.

He said that when Sri Lanka floated a tender for the supply of 40,000 tons of rice two months ago, Pakistan secured export orders for 34,600 tons.

NORWAY INTERESTED IN PAKISTANI PRODUCTS

The Norwegian importers and trade officials have shown keen interest in Pakistani products including textiles, sports goods, surgical instruments.

According to information reaching Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Norwegian importers and officials have also appreciated the quality of these products. These Pakistani products were displayed at the Norway Fashion Forum at Oslo from October 21.

A ten-member Pakistani trade delegation comprising exporters of textile made-ups, home textile, towels, ready-made garments, sports goods, surgical instruments and working gloves is visiting Norway, Sweden and Denmark from Oct 20-30 to introduce Pakistani products to Scandinavian market.

WHOLESALE, RETAIL TRADE FALLS TO 2.24PC

Thanks to the economic policies and government decisions, the wholesale and retail markets are now gradually wearing ghost look as buyers are deserting because of empty pockets, and there is not sufficient supply of industrial goods or agricultural commodities.

But in this otherwise dismal economic scenario, public administration and defence has shown an unprecedented growth of 18.2 per cent in 2001-02 from 1.15 per cent rise a year earlier and subsequently its share in the overall services sector has increased to 14.3 per cent from 12.7 per cent a year ago in 2000-01.

The State Bank of Pakistan's annual report for 01-02 reveals a conspicuous shrinking of the wholesale and retail marketing both in terms of growth and share in the services sector. Its growth has dropped to alarming level of 2.24 per cent in 01-02 from 5.24 per cent a year earlier. Its share in the overall services sector has come down to 29.6 per cent from 30.5 per cent a year ago in 00-01.

DRAWBACK ON EXPORT OF SHOES CUT

The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has revised downward the budgetary duty drawback rates on export of various kinds of shoes.

The new rates would be applicable from October 30, 2002, by amending the budgetary notification SRO413 issued on June 18, 2001, said a Customs notification.

EPB DRAFT PLAN TO BOOST EXPORT

Minister of state and chairman Export Promotion Bureau Tariq Ikram said that the EPB had prepared a comprehensive draft of export development plan which will work as a road map for boosting exports.

Speaking as a chief guest at the launching ceremony of 3rd edition of FPCCI's booklet on "Trade between Pakistan and major regional economic grouping," he said 75 per cent of EPB's funds are spent on export promotional activities, which include holding of exhibitions and sending of trade delegations abroad.

DUTY ON IMPORTED MILK PLANNED

The government is likely to levy provisional regulatory duty on import of milk powder aimed at protecting local industry against the low-priced imported milk, an official source said.

To implement the decision, the government would require to introduce a provision in the Customs Act, 1969, to enable the levy on the same.

QUALITY WHEAT BEING EXPORTED

Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Dr Badaruddin Soomro, said Pakistan has become an important wheat exporting country of the good quality wheat.

While addressing a two-day Annual Wheat Conference, at PARC Auditorium, he said the demand of good quality wheat is very high and many countries including Iran, Iraq, and African republics have shown interest in the import of wheat.