Exploiting export potential
Pakistan can export the surplus of food grains, fruits, vegetables and meat to the South Asian markets to reduce the current account deficit. China is interested to increase imports from Pakistan, said Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing. In a meeting with the Federal Minister for Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, the envoy elaborated that cherries, citrus fruit, mangoes, wheat and potatoes were the most desirable items. On the request of Ministry of National Food security and Research China would urgently initiate the process of potato exports to China after fulfilling the SPS requirements.
Pakistan has a trade deficit of $ 12 billion with China and in the visit of the Prime Minister Imran Khan the latter agreed to increase the quantum of imports from the former by $1 billion which is just a drop in the ocean. Pakistan produces best quality citrus fruits including Kinno and Malta for the export of which great demand can be created in the markets of South Asia. Export of Kinno has already been started to Indonesia. Likewise, the best in the world quality potato is being produced in Khyber Pukhtunkwa which can be exported to a number of countries after proper grading and q processing to avoid the non-tariff barriers. Likewise, hybrid rice and wheat can be exported in large quantities.
Another item of export is red meat for the import of which Malaysia has expressed interest. Economic Advisor to Terengganu province in Malaysia Haji Roslin Abdul Rehman, in a meeting with business leader of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the business community of Pakistan to look into the possibility of exporting meat to Malaysia which is $ 2 billion market, of which 24 percent was being supplied locally while the meat was being imported from numerous countries. He told that half of the demand for meat in Malaysia was being met by imports from Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, India, China and Thailand, which are all non-Muslim country but not a single container of meat was being exported from Pakistan.
Malaysian Economic advisor stressed that it was a very good opportunity for Pakistani meat exporters. Hence, they must collaborate with Malaysian business com munity to effectively penetrate into the Malaysian market. Pakistan has a great potential to export ‘Halal” meat to this brotherly Muslim country and it was the inefficiency of our diplomats, particularly the commercial councilor, who has not arranged the meeting of Pakistani businessmen with the business community of Malaysia. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had stressed for promoting economic diplomacy in the recent envoys’ conference and it is now for our diplomats to make strenuous efforts in this regard. Penetration into the South Asian markets will not only boost the exports of food commodities but will also give big support to agriculture and livestock.