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Monday, February 13, 2012

Indian exporters hopeful to end indirect trade

India and Pakistan, which are moving forward to enhance trade ties through the present move started by two countries, are required to at least end the indirect trade to reduce the high freight cost.
Since both countries are importing goods via a third station, the freight cost could have been reduced drastically if the same were allowed to be traded directly, thereby, reducing the price of imported goods. This was expressed by leading Indian exporters here at Lahore Expo Centre on Monday. The representatives of at least 100 companies were attending the three day, The Indian Show 2012, being organised by Federation Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Indian exporters who are hopeful to get maximum share in the Pakistani market after the expected development regarding grant of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India said, despite the past unfriendly environment for trade between the two South Asian neighbours, many goods produced/manufactured at both sides have been traded indirectly.
Talking to Profit, Assistant Director Spices Board Ministry of Commerce and Industry India, Sopal Ram, said various kinds of spices were being imported in Pakistan from India which is the largest producer/exporter of these items, but in an indirect way. The country has at least 2,000 registered exporters who were allowed to trade after meeting the approved standards of the government. The quality of Indian spices could only be questioned when the value addition was made in the product by the country that is importing it.
He claimed the spices had a huge demand in Pakistan and the products could be cheaper if these were allowed for imports/exports directly. “The visiting people at expo centre have shown great interest in the highly qualitative products,” he said, adding that his country could make the entire demand of spices in Pakistan.
Tom Jose, Manager Marketing and Business Development of The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India said, Pakistan could export the raw material/unfinished gems and jewellery to India, which has recorded exports worth $43.14 billion during financial year 2010-2011. He said that India has comparatively better technology for finishing and value addition of products.
A Surender. Sr Regional Manager, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, said India is exporting various fuel furnace oil, lubricants, diesel, etc, with competitive prices and freight costs to meet the energy crisis of Pakistan. The corporation was a fortune of global 500 company engaged in the business of refining and marketing of petroleum products in India with a turnover of $23,390 million and market sale of 27 MMT.
A representative of tea development board of India informed that a successful negotiation was going on at government and concerned associations level to start direct tea export to Pakistan. Islamabad, which is importing a large quantity of tea from the African region especially Kenya, could obtain the same products at competitive prices and freight costs, if the import was formally allowed in Pakistan.
“India can meet the tea demand of Pakistan, as the former is already exporting to various European, Asian and African countries,” he said, adding that despite a Preferential Trade Agreement with Kenya, Pakistan was not benefiting from the reduced tariff of tea due to the high freight cost. Both exporters in India and Importers from Pakistan were negotiating the issue, while the matter was also under discussion at the government level. The first ever exhibition organised by India was attended by thousands of visitors from all walks of life.


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