Pakistan to sign Preferential Trade Agreement with Indonesia for kinnow export

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce discussed the various matters of kinnow export to Iran and Indonesia with different stockholders including All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association, Citrus Growers, officials of Ministry of Food, Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board and others, during a meeting.

Recently, a complaint was received from the Citrus Growers Association regarding problems being faced by Pakistani exporters of Kinnow. The ministry was informed that Iran has banned the import of Citrus from Pakistan. The Ministry of Commerce raised the issue of the Citrus Growers Association with the relevant Government authorities in Tehran.

The Pakistan Ambassador in Tehran was also requested to take up the issue with the Iranian Government. While responding the issue, Pakistan’s Ambassador has informed that the Government of Iran has not banned the import of Kinnow from Pakistan.

It was also highlighted in the meeting that Kinnow is one of important horticulture export products of Pakistan. In the year 2010-11 Pakistan exported approximately $110 million to various countries including Iran, which was one of the largest markets accounting for 10 percent of Pakistan’s total export.

The Ministry of Commerce also led the Pakistan negotiating team for a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Indonesia, where Indonesia has already agreed to eliminate tariff on import of kinnow from Pakistan. Indonesia was one of Pakistan’s biggest markets for kinnow but the Pakistan’s share was eliminated due to tariff preference available to other competitor under ASEAN-China FTA.

Through this Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) Pakistan has been able to achieve level playing field vis-a-vis its competitors in Indonesian market. In 2006, Indonesia imported kinnow worth $ 200 million but the share of Pakistan was almost negligible due to tariff barriers.

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