Published: June 13, 2016

The Russian Federation has emerged as a promising International market for Pakistani Fruits & Vegetables having tremendous potential for import of agri - produce of Pakistan.

The steady export growth of this specific sector (Fruits & Vegetables) is reflection of strong trade relationship developing between Pakistan and Russia which is anticipated to register an impressive upward trend in future! Pakistan has placed much emphasis on quality improvement to remain active trade partner of Russia. It's an open secret that Russia besides quality is quite demanding in terms of it's quarantine requirements and PFVA has left no stone unturned to meet this tough challenge!

We have been exporting Kinnow and Potato to Russia which are in great demand due to it's quality and strict adherence to quarantine protocols, however the PFVA has now planned to export Pakistani mangoes in this gigantic market as well which would certainly be highly welcomed due to it's unique taste and aroma. Since the people of Russia are unfamiliar with delicious taste of Pakistani mangoes, extensive marketing and promotion campaigns would certainly be required to do the needful.

Recently an Agro Food trade delegation of Trade Development Authority under leadership of CE - TDAP, Mr. S.M. Muneer visited Russia which was comprised of leading exporters from the Fruit & Vegetable sector as well. The delegation from this specific sector (Fruit & Vegetable) consisted of prominent exporters led by the Chairman, Mr. Waheed Ahmed. Mr. Waheed Ahmed held several important meetings with Mr. Denis Manturov - Ministry of Industry and Trade Russia, President of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Bashkortostan , Russia, with six leading Fruit & Vegetable companies of Pakistan and Mr. I. Mikhametdonov, Vice Prime Minister of Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia to enhance export of Fruit & Vegetable to Russia. During the meeting it was impressed upon the Minister of Industry & trade, Mr. Denis Manturov that duty valuation on import of agri-produce shall be re-evaluated to make it more realistic and also limit on number of Pakistani companies which can export Potato to Russia be also reviewed to permit more than 13 companies (currently) to contribute in export of potato to Russia . The Minister assured to review both the issues and directed Mr. Waheed Ahmed to send him a formal letter in detail on these issues so that it can be followed up more closely.

Pakistan exported 3800 containers of Kinnow & 200 containers of Potato during the year 2016 which shows marked increase compared to the last year, a clear indication of growing export trend to the Russian market.

The concerning issue of duty valuation by the Russian Govt. remains unresolved despite assurances by the concerned Russian authorities and is required to be addressed on Govt. level . Once the issue of valuation is resolved on realistic grounds, the export volume of Kinnow to Russia would multiply many folds!

Continuous quality improvement and great emphasis on R&D by the PFVA is expected to assist in tapping this "unexploited huge market" while serious issue of realistic valuation can further contribute substantially in enhancement of export of Fruits & Vegetables to this enormous market.