Exporters underscore need for Pak-Russian banking channel

Published: September 10, 2016

KARACHI: Pakistani exporters have demanded for setting up banking channel with Russia to enhance bilateral trade. 

During a meeting with Consul General of Russian Federation Oleg N. Avdeev, in Karachi on Wednesday, a delegation of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) led by its Chairman Waheed Ahmed stressed on early establishing banking channels between Pakistan and Russia to enhance bilateral trade. 

Former chairman of PFVA Abdul Malik, Executive member Muhammad Hanif and General Secretary Muhammad Ilyas was also part of delegation. 

Speaking at the meeting, Waheed said that the absence of banking channel between Pakistan and Russia is one of the major reasons behind stagnant volume of bilateral trade particularly horticultural exports. 

He was optimistic that the bilateral trade will increase with the establishment of banking channel between the two countries.He said the bilateral trade volume could be enhanced to $1 billion from the existing figure of $ 390 million within one year by resolving the banking issue. 

Waheed informed the consul general about various issues affecting exporters of the PFVA which included facilitation of multiple visa of a year for the exporters and review of unrealistic valuation of Kinnow and Potato by the Russian Customs. He also requested the foreign country to allow all companies registered with PFVA to export potato to Russia instead of restricting to a few only. 

He said the maximum facilities to exporters and importers, foreseeing opportunities of business in the ongoing mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), will boost the bilateral trade in near future. 

Waheed also invited a delegation of Russian Quarantine Department to inspect the quality of products and others arrangements made for better quality export in Pakistan. 

The Consul General extended patient hearing to the points brought into his attention and did involve even Alexey Frolov (Visa Consul) at one stage of the meeting seeking to get his view for facilitation of multiple visa to the exporters. 

Oleg N Avdeev, assured the PFVA office bearers of looking into issues brought to his attention saying that he would extend all possible support in addressing these issues to facilitate exporters of the PFVA in further enhancement of export to Russia particularly Kinnow and Potato. 

The consul general also rendered guidance how the valuation issue be raised through the government here to the concerned Russian Authorities to sort out this impending matter which is considered as hindrance to enhance export volume to Russia 

Oleg N Avdeev, also said that the issue of valuation will be discussed in the next meeting of Inter governmental commission scheduled to be held in Moscow. The PFVA may also send its representative to highlight the issue in the said meeting.