Govt extends a helping hand to Brexit-hit horticultural exporters,

Published: January 04, 2017

KARACHI: Realizing the losses suffered by exporters after the Brexit, the federal government has assured horticultural exporters to help overcome losses.

Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Bosan has assured the exporters of horticultural products that the proposals floated by Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) will be considered to facilitate them.

During a meeting with horticultural exporters here, Bosan has also assured exporters that the ministry of food will take up this matter with the ministry of finance for relief. The meeting was attended by patron in chief of PFVA Waheed Ahmed, Chairman Abdul Malik, Senior Member Aslam Pakhalim, Head of Plant Protection Department Imran Shami and others.

Bosan said in consultation with all stakeholders, a joint strategy will be mapped out to deal with the issues faced by exporters. 

The minister also agreed to soften the condition of mandatory certificate of analysis for export to Indonesia which would ultimately help exporters to send maximum fruit/vegetable shipments to the foreign country.

Briefing the minister, Waheed Ahmed said that horticultural exporters have faced huge losses after decline in values of pound sterling and euro following the historic break-up in European Union.

He complained that the mandatory certification from the PCSIR for every consignment costing Rs45,000 was adding to the woes of the exporters.  Waheed also informed the federal minister about the negative impact of the Brexit suggesting the federal government to help the exporters by exempting their consignments from certain taxes.

The representatives of PFVA also complained that an illegal import of fruit from Iran was badly affecting the local market of fruit and vegetable. They stressed on promoting legal trade with the neighbouring country, adding that Iran has been a big market for Pakistani fruit.

Waheed said the search of new markets for Pakistani horticultural product was also on the agenda of the meeting which discussed that important markets including Thailand, Philippines, South Africa, etc, are still untapped for want of an agreement related to quarantine with these countries. 

The minister suggested tapping these markets through collaborative efforts on the part of the ministry of commerce, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and PFVA. He said a representative of the quarantine department should also accompany the delegation of these bodies in foreign visits to deal with the quarantine issue.

It was also decided that officials of the quarantine department will also hold a meeting with PFVA members next week to formulate a strategy to address quarantine issues related to export through air services. The department has also agreed to devise a strategy for dealing with quarantine issues related to export to European countries.