Exports to China, UAE Decline
Pakistan’s exports to China and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have declined by 13.71 percent and 24.5 percent in the financial year-2015-16, respectively. According to sources, China has abandoned its policy to store raw cotton and yarn that comprises major portion of Pakistan export basket. China’s policy shift has also affected international price of yarn.
Pakistan’s exports to UAE have declined due to decrease in the exports of petroleum products, chemicals, jewellery and rice. South Africa has imposed anti-dumping duty on Pakistani cement companies, whereas, the demand from Afghanistan for cement has shifted to Tajikistan. Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)-plus Pakistani products have duty free access in 28 member states of European Union (EU) since 1st January, 2014. As a result of these concessions Pakistani exports to EU grew by 22 percent in 2014. In 2015 also Pakistani export to EU grew by 11 percent in Euro terms. However exports to Britain after Brexit may dampen exports.
The sources said Pakistan’s export market lacked diversification and was concentrated only in a few regions and countries with 51 percent of exports confined to six countries/ regions like EU, US, UK, China, Afghanistan and Middle East. Pakistan has not been able to tap its export potential in the regional market and was facing tariff and non-tariff barriers in markets like Iran and India, they said.
Investment in exporting sectors has remained disturbingly low, as a cut-throat competition with emerging players like Bangladesh and Vietnam have made margins in the exporting business fairly unattractive. Sources said that rice being the second largest export item of Pakistan was given priority in the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-18. To promote and develop rice exports, a Rice Development Council is being established. Basmati rice has been selected as one of the focus products for short term turn around in exports.
The sources said that Ministry of Commerce had recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia for export of one million tons of rice over the next four years. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) organises participation of Pakistani rice exporters in all the leading international food fairs and organises trade delegations to the export markets. Federal government has also contacted Chinese Government for enhancing export of rice and an exercise is under way to identify/register rice processing plants for export of rice to China. A gift of rice (15,000 MT) was being sent to Cuba, sources further revealed, and added that that was more than a gift to the Cuban people. “It was a marketing effort which will expose the Cuban consumer to our rice and be our first step in the Cuban domestic rice market,” it added. According to documents, provincial governments are providing transport rebate of $90 per ton to the private sector for enhancing export of surplus wheat stocks of Provincial Food Departments of Punjab and Sindh

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