Chief Collector Customs (Enforcement) Nazim Saleem has said that the rice exporters should explore new markets, particularly in Central Asian countries, to enhance the country’s exports. Speaking to the members of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) here at REAP House on Wednesday, he said that despite several challenges like lower price and stiff competition in the world market, the rice exports worth $1.7 billion so far this year was a big achievement. It was expected that the country’s rice exports would be over $2 billion by the end of this fiscal year, he added.
“Rice exporters should focus on new markets in African countries, South America, Central Asian countries, Argentine and Brazil to achieve a 10 percent growth annually,” he said. Recently, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) also opened its branch in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, to facilitate Pakistani exporters and traders, he informed.
Replying to a question regarding the examination of export consignments at ports, he said this was the custom’s authority to examine the commodities, while the ANF’s responsibility was to search the goods by sniper dogs. He urged REAP to setup an academic section, which could guide its members about laws related to trade and industry. “With the establishment of an academic section, several issues of the exporters will be resolved automatically,” he added.
On behalf of his department, Nazim assured full support to rice exporters and said that the Customs would facilitate the traders at all stages. Speaking on the occasion, Rafique Suleman informed that the country had exported some 3.4 million tons of rice including 2.87 million tons of non-basmati and 0.587 million tons of basmati during July 2014 to May 2015. In terms of value, Pakistan exported rice amounting $1.7 billion including $1.1 billion of non basmati and $608 million of basmati rice, he added.
He said that REAP was making efforts towards enhancing the country’s rice export and sending delegation to several countries for promotion of Pakistani rice. He said that REAP had also organised biryani festivals in several countries to introduce Pakistani rice. As part of these efforts, he said a REAP delegation was visiting Qatar next month to explore more export opportunities there. The REAP Chairman said that presently almost all commodities were facing decline in prices in the international market and rice prices had declined by some 40 percent during the last one year, which, he added had resulted in low exports.
“We need some support from the government to further gear up these efforts,” he added. Javed Ghani, Collector Customs (Exports); Agha Shahid Majeed Khan, Collector Customs (Exports), Port Qasim; Cheela Ram; Safdar Mehkari; Abdul Arshad Khaliq and Anees Majeed were also present on the occasion.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/pakistan-rice-exporters-urged-to-explore-new-markets)