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 5. TRADE  6. GULF



Dec 31, 2001 - Jan 06, 2002

Govt plans 16 more zero duty items export

The government has decided zero-rated export of about 16 more items to Central Asian Republics (CARs) and Afghanistan via land route, an official source told on Wednesday.

Commerce ministry has worked out the items, which would be notified shortly by making further amendments in SRO 514 dated July 12, 2001, the source added.

The items which were likely to be allowed at zero rate of duty included: pesticides, poultry feeds, veterinary medicines, pulses, surgical instruments, stationary items, process and packed food, tomato sauce, soft drink, milk cream, mineral water, honey, tinned fruits, soap detergents, ghee and cooking oil, all machinery and appliances, all plastic products/goods, aluminium utensil, pvc pipes and polyethylene sheets, adhesive tapes, all cotton and woollen textile products, carpet yarn, synthetic yarn and blankets.

These items has already been cleared by the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to be allowed at zero rate of duty to Afghanistan and CARs.

The total number of exportable items to Afghanistan and CARs would now be around 30.

The exporters after fulfilling all the conditions laid down in the notification would be eligible for the normal duty drawback.

According to the source, only those items would be allowed to be exported for having very bleak chances of smuggling back into the country.

However, to avoid the smuggling back of these items into the country, the source said, Pakistan embassy or consulate in Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad will verify the arrival of export consignments from Pakistan.

Moreover, each individual packing of consignment should bear indelible and prominent mark "Fo Export only- Not for sale in Pakistan".

The relevant officials attached high importance to the duty exemption on the proposed items and were of the opinion that it would help boost export to CARs and Afghanistan.

ATT import value fell by 99.95pc in Nov

The import value of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) fell by 99.95 per cent to Rs0.367 million in November against Rs846.799 million during the same month last year.

Official figures released by the Central Board of Revenue on Wednesday showed that the total import value of ATT in the first five months of the current financial year declined by 15.82 per cent to Rs3.655 billion this year against Rs4.342 billion over the corresponding months of last year.

On monthly basis, the import value of ATT declined by 55.65 per cent to Rs0.298 million in October of the current financial year against Rs0.672 million over the corresponding month of the last year.

Since September 11 incident, however, it was only September in which the ATT value had witnessed an increase of 43.87 per cent to Rs1.21 billion against Rs0.841 billion during the same month last year.

Leather exporters facilitated

The State Bank said on Friday it had relaxed the export finance scheme for the exporters of leather garments and leather products.

Such exporters of leather garments and leather products who had availed of the scheme up to September 30 but had been unable to ship their consignments within 180 days have been given 90 more days to do so.

In other words those exporters who had availed loan for export of the said commodity before September 30, 2001 and had shipped export consignments after 180 days will not be fined for delay up to 90 days.

Vessel with soyabean due in Jan

Another vessel loaded with 40,000 tons of soyabean from US is due in second week of next month. A quantity of 124,000 tons had already arrived in three shipments under 416(b) programme of aid from USA.

According to TCP sources a quantity of 38,000 tons had already been sold by the Corporation to solvent extraction units and commercial importers on Nov 30, 2001, and its lifting is under process.

Incentives offered to Chinese investors

President General Pervez Musharraf on Monday, announced certain incentives for Chinese businessmen inviting them to invest in Pakistan.

The president unveiled the incentives while addressing the conference on 'Promotion of Trade and Investment between Pakistan and China' in Guangzhou.

Gen Musharraf said: "We have decided to give a designated area for Chinese investors, particularly for the investors from Guangdong, in an exclusive economic zone for setting up projects in joint ventures with 100 per cent equity".

"We will set up an industrial park for the development of silk processing industry and allocate an exclusive area in the export processing zone in Karachi to help Chinese investors set up industries exclusively for exports," he said.

Pakistan to expand trade network in China

Pakistan will expand its commercial network in China to explore new avenues of cooperation for enhancing trade relations between the two countries, said Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.

In an interview with APP during his stay in China, he said since the leadership of the two countries have decided to build up a comprehensive economic partnership, it has become imperative to appoint commercial officers in major cities of China to facilitate the businessmen.

He said President Pervez Musharraf, during his visit to China, held very productive talks with the Chinese counterpart to open a new chapter of their economic collaboration, after having successful and exemplary political and strategic relations during the last five decades.