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 5. TRADE  6. GULF



Feb-18 24, 2002

Cotton export declines by 93.85pc

Pakistan's export of raw cotton, synthetic textile fabrics, cutlery and onyx manufactures dropped drastically during the seven months (July-January) of the current financial year, as overall exports fell by 1.5 per cent.

Provisional figures released by Federal Bureau of Statistics on Saturday for July-January period, showed that raw cotton exports declined by 93.85 per cent, synthetic textile fabrics by 24.33 per cent, cutlery by 16.33 per cent and onyx manufactures by 22.88 per cent over the corresponding period of the last year.

The total exports of raw cotton during the July-Jan period of current fiscal stood at $6.44 million against $104.9 million last year, synthetic textile fibre stood at $231.61 million against $306.08 million last year, carpets stood at $130.91 million against $156.62 million last year, cutlery to $13.49 million against $16.12 million last year and onyx manufactures stood at $5.67 million against $ 7.36 million last year.

On monthly basis, the exports of rice, raw cotton, cotton yarn, knitwear, synthetic textile fabrics, cutlery, gur and gur products, cotton bags, tarpaulin and canvas goods, onyx manufactures and chemicals and pharmaceutical products registered a massive decline in January 2002 over the corresponding month of the last year. And the total exports in January fell by 8.25 per cent to $697.2 million this year against $759.9 million during the corresponding month of last year.

In January the export of rice declined by 46.96 per cent, raw cotton by 91.35 per cent, gur and gur products by 38.24 per cent, cotton yarn by 27.38 per cent, knitwear by 22.16 per cent, cotton bags by 41.62 per cent, tarpaulin and canvas goods by 40.49 per cent, synthetic textile fabrics by 44.64 per cent, cutlery by 49.15 per cent, onyx manufactures by 31.82 per cent and chemical and pharmaceutical products by 43.81 per cent over the corresponding month of the last year.

Negative list of items: Export to Kabul

The federal government announced on Tuesday a negative list of items and goods that could not be exported to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics.

An official notification said that there was no restriction on exports of all goods to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) in rupees via land route except the negative list.

The only restriction was on goods manufactured in manufacturing bonds and these exports are allowed only through those places where customs post exists i.e. at Chamman and Torkhum.

Exports of foam, glass sheets and cement to Kabul up

Exports of glass sheets, cement and foam matrices from Peshawar to Afghanistan increased substantially during the last couple of weeks, according to sources.

Several trucks loaded with these items leave the local markets for Jalalabad every day, recording sudden increase in exports of these three items.

Some 20 to 25 trucks loaded with glass sheet are leaving Peshawar every day for the Afghan destinations via Torkham town on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Similarly, according to local business circles some 15 to 20 trucks loaded with foam matrices were being dispatched every day to Jalalabad, the capital city of eastern Nangarhar province, from the Peshawar market, recording increase in demand for matrices inside Afghanistan.

BD seeks duty waiver

Bangladesh has unilaterally sought zero rate of duty on its export of around 21 categories of items to Pakistan.

Informed sources told on Monday that during the recent visit of commerce minister Abdul Razak Dawood to Dhaka, the list of the items was handed over to him for consideration.

The categories on which, Bangladesh seeking exemption from import duties leviable in Pakistan included jute and jute products, tea, beetle leaf, bamboo, leather products, pharmaceutical products, ceramics, knitware, garments and vegetable materials.

Bangladesh average share in Pakistan's total export and import stood at 1.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively recorded during the year 2000-01.

NZ interested in textiles

Designated High Commissioner of New Zealand to Pakistan Niels Holm has expressed his interest in Pakistani textiles and said there is a great demand of value-added textile products in his country and business community of Pakistan should grasp the market.

In a meeting with vice president FPCCI, on Friday, Niels said there are a lot of business opportunities between the two countries. He indicated the availability of 'halaal meat' from New Zealand for consumption in Pakistan.

Local co keen to set up ghee mills in Kabul

A leading group of companies is interested in setting up a cooking oil and ghee making plant in Afghanistan with facilities to manufacture soap as well.

International Multi Group of Companies that owns one of the leading cooking oil and ghee factories in Pakistan has informed the Afghan government of its plan and is sending a team of engineers for feasibility study of this and some other projects.

"Our team of engineers would be leaving on Friday and travel up to Jalalabad," said Amjad Rashid who heads the group. He said his group had also written a letter to Afghan Finance Minister Hedayat Amin Arsala seeking his cooperation in setting up the proposed project in Afghanistan.

"The group intends to take initiative from Pakistan to establish a ghee, cooking oil, soap manufacturing unit with joint venture/joint cooperation from public/private sector in Afghanistan," reads the letter of January 26. "We have technical capabilities, resources and backup of raw materials with available market of our Shama brand in Afghanistan."