Published: November 28, 2015
Indonesian Consul General in Karachi Hadi Santoso has assured traders that his country will continue to import Pakistani oranges.
Santoso stated this while speaking to a delegation of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), which met him to discuss trade issues between the two countries, a press release said on Friday.
The PFVA delegation expressed concern over the recent developments that implied Indonesia was considering banning import of oranges from Pakistan.
“An Indonesian quarantine team recently visited Pakistan to inspect the orchards where oranges are grown,” said the press release, adding “the team expressed satisfaction with the current conditions.”
PFVA Chairman Waheed Ahmed told the consul general that the association members are exporting fruits and vegetables to 70 countries.
“PFVA’s close cooperation with the quarantine department of Pakistan has helped avert a ban by the United Kingdom and European Union on the import of Pakistani mangoes by effectively restricting the number of interceptions of Pakistani mango consignments within the given limit spelled out by the EU,” added Ahmed.
“PFVA has also conducted various seminars and workshops for the growers, focusing on food safety and improvement in the quality of agricultural products.”
The association has assisted the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) Pakistan in introducing standard operating procedures at packaging houses and orchards to bring them in line with international standards.
“Pakistan is a lucrative market for Indonesia whose products like pineapple and coconut are getting popular here,” Ahmed said.
The PFVA delegation discussed the import of Indonesian fruits by Pakistan via Dubai, emphasising the need for direct export channels.
Aslam Pakhali, a member of the PFVA delegation, said imports from Indonesia are increasing and will continue to rise once the free trade agreement (FTA) is implemented.
He assured Santoso of PFVA’s support in facilitating Indonesian trade delegations in Pakistan for the promotion of bilateral trade.
Another member suggested that Indonesia should increase the import of Pakistani oranges since they are cheaper as compared to Australia, the US and China.
Santoso underscored the need for direct exports from Pakistan to Indonesia, eliminating the role of any third party. He also assured the traders that his office will facilitate the Indonesian buyers visiting Pakistan in order to promote the fruit and vegetable trade.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2015.