Speaking at a joint news conference with Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz at the end of the Pak US Joint Economic Forum, he
said the US was currently holding talks with many countries and various
other international organizations to sign FTA to mutually benefit each
The two sides, he said, also discussed the
possibilities of market access, especially for textile sector, as it
would generate jobs and trigger economic growth in Pakistan. The Forum
also considered initiating the process for free trade agreement.
Pakistan assured of taking necessary measures to
prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities. It was
pointed out that an Act was in an advance stage of finalization and
would be placed in the parliament for approval. An anti-money Laundering
Coordination Unit has been set up at the Ministry of Finance to
coordinate policy making as well as introduction between various
agencies like Ministry of Interior, Foreign Affairs, the State Bank of
Pakistan, National Accountability Bureau and security agencies.
The US and Pakistan would work to encourage bilateral
private sector investment, expand trade, pursue poverty alleviation,
micro-financing, debt relief, increased economic cooperation, social
sectors funding and information technology, reporters were informed.
The Forum was established last April and its first
meeting was held in Washington. It is an institutionalized arrangement
to facilitate periodic consultations on economic issues, matters of
mutual interest and facilitate ways for increasing mutual economic
relations between the two countries.
PASSCO MAY EXPORT SURPLUS WHEAT
The government is likely to allow Passco to export
surplus wheat till the end of the current month, said a senior official.
The decision was expected to be taken in a meeting of
Wheat Disposal Committee.
According to the official, Sindh food department had
sent a request to the federal government seeking permission to export
100,000 tons of surplus wheat.
The committee had earlier allowed Passco to export
surplus wheat laying with the Punjab food department till November 15.
The wheat committee would be presided over by
Privatization Minister Altaf Saleem, which was to be attended among
others by senior officials from the ministries of finance, commerce and
Pakistan has exported 1.7 million tons of wheat till
November 15, 2002, said the official.
LEATHER EXPORT FALLS BY 25PC
Leather export has registered a decline of about 25
per cent during last two months as compared to the corresponding period
The shortfall in exports of leather garments and
leather is being attributed to continuous recession in the world market
after the 9/11, decline in prices and fall in foreign buyers' demand.
The factors have also affected export of leather
garments from other countries like China, India and Turkey dropping from
20 to 50 per cent. Furthermore, change of trends and fashions and
changed weather conditions have compelled the consumer to go for other
products instead of leather garments which mostly used in chilly winter,
which is yet to come.
EU MAY REIMPOSE DUTY ON BEDLINEN
The representative body of Europe's textile industry,
Eurocoton, has filed a complaint against imports of bedlinen from
Pakistan suggesting for the imposition of new anti-dumping duties.
The European Union (EU), which has already refused to
allow flexibility or spread quota of 4000 tons annually to Pakistan, is
expected to take tough stand particularly when Islamabad has not placed
any order for Airbus, which is jointly manufactured by some EU member
As per the rules, EU initiates proceedings 45 days
after the filing of the complaint, and in this way the case is most
likely to come up for hearing in the first week of next month.
CHINA INTERESTED IN INCREASING DIRECT TRADE
China is interested in increasing direct bilateral
trade with Pakistan, especially in textile sector, head of the Chinese
purchasing team, Wang Qihui said.
During his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, he said that 87 per cent of total imports from Pakistan to
China comprised — cotton yarn 60pc, cotton fabric 70pc, Chemicals 8pc
and remaining leather and leather products.
He said that Pakistan should offer a bigger range of
products as it could find China a good market for quality products at
competitive rates. He stressed that the competitiveness was important
for Chinese market as it was part of the World Trade Organization.
REFINANCE RATE CUT
The State Bank is in a fix. Its officials are not
sure how they will cut the export refinance rate next month. The
exporters, on the other hand, are all waiting for this.
BAN ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED BASMATI RICE SOUGHT
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) is
against the promotion of genetically modified basmati rice and has urged
the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to immediately impose ban on its
The association has pointed out that presently
various world markets are conscious and concerned about
"genetically modified products" and ban has been imposed by
many countries on import of these varieties.