KARACHI - Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) President Abdullah Zaki has expressing deep concern over EU’s warnings which may result in complete ban on Pakistani orange (kinnow) and mango exports to EU.
President KCCI was speaking at a European Union funded Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on ‘Enhancing competitiveness and exports of kinnow and mango’ organized in a local hotel on Tuesday by International Trade Center (ITC) in association with Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Pakistan Institute of Trade & development (PITAD). He stressed that the government, private sector and all stakeholders need to join hands and work collectively to address the challenges confronted by the horticulture sector of Pakistan. Zaki appreciated the efforts being made by ITC, PITAD in collaboration with the European Union towards disseminating Trade Related Technical Assistance Program (TRTA II) exclusively for Pakistan. He hoped that mutual cooperation grows further to facilitate business community by holding similar public private dialogue on enhancing competitiveness in all fields. President KCCI informed that availability of Pakistan’s citrus fruit at a comparatively low price in the world markets has helped the country export more than 305,000 tons of kinnow worth about $180 million in FY2014. He further mentioned that Pakistan’s mango sector represents 4 per cent of the world’s total production and contributes approximately $150 million per year to the country’s GDP. “However, it is quite unfortunate that mango industry of Pakistan is still not well-developed.”
Speaking on the occasion, Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary TDAP, said that export of mango from India has been banned by EU which has provided an opportunity to Pakistan to increase its exports or face the same destiny by not reforming and adhering to international standards. She stressed the need for reforms in order to avoid ban by the EU. Sajid Hussain, DG PITAD, while highlighting his association with TRTA II program, informed that eight PPDs in association with ITC have been conducted so far with a view to make contribution to the policies of the government. Bruno Valanzuolo, Chief Technical Advisor, TRTA II program, underscored the importance of compliance with sanitary & phytosanitary issues and international standards. He stressed that due to non-compliance with these standards, hundreds of consignments of Pakistani mango and citrus are rejected every year and Pakistan’s exports of kinnow and mangoes continue to decline. “Yellow cards have already been shown to Pakistani exporters for non-compliance which may ultimately result in a red card, resulting in complete ban of kinnow and mango exports from Pakistan to EU countries”, he added. Mohammad Owais Khan, Program Officer ITC, while welcoming the participants, informed that a public private dialogue steering committee has been established with the approval of Ministry of Commerce which steers the process of PPDs and attendant policy research. He urged the stakeholders to come up with their recommendations for policy reform and actively participate in the dialogue so that the real issues are captured and addressed.