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Conducive environment Govt must take steps to promote rice exports, says REAP

Conducive environment: Govt must take steps to promote rice exports, says REAP

ISLAMABAD: The Rice Exporters’ Association of Pakistan (REAP) has urged the government to take fiscal and diplomatic measures to create a conducive environment aimed at both reducing the cost of production and boosting exports.

The association raised these concerns at the 6th meeting of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Rice Exports for 2016 earlier this week and chaired by FPCCI Standing Committee Chairman Rafique Suleman.

“China should adopt an on-arrival visa policy for Pakistani businessmen to enhance and promote bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries,” said Suleman.

“Both Pakistan and China share a cordial relationship and a lot of Pakistani businessmen are travelling to China for their businesses. Moreover, the two countries have also signed an FTA under which a lot of trade is taking place between the two countries,” he added.

He urged the government to take up the matter with the respective Chinese authorities and strengthen its relationship with China. “Adoption of this policy will go a long way in strengthening Pak-China friendship.”

Suleman said that REAP had put forward their proposal to the President of Pakistan, which mainly includes having a REAP member on the Pakistan Research Board.

According to the chairman, Pakistan and Indonesia have always shared a cordial relationship and therefore the government must further improve trade with the country. “Indonesia is highly impressed with Pakistani rice exporters since all the orders have been fulfilled. This is also a reason why the Indonesian government is sending a delegation from BULOG to visit rice mills in Pakistan.”

Suleman, while requesting the government to exempt import of rice machinery from taxation, said doing so would reduce the cost of production and eventually lead to a reduction in price of rice, which will not only help exporters but farmers as well.

The FPCCI Standing Committee chairman appreciated that the much-awaited draft on Geographical Indication (GI) Bill 2016 was presented by the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) before the relevant stakeholders including lawyers, businessmen and bureaucrats. “The Pakistan’s GI protection law had been long overdue and the IPO should expedite the process of making this draft into a law,” he observed.

REAP was of the opinion that the TDAP must be the custodian of GI rights of all commodities; particularly basmati rice. He also mentioned the need to promote basmati rice in the international market.

“Pakistan has one of the best qualities of basmati rice in the world and Saudi Arabia and Iran are potential markets that should be explored,” he said.

“I appreciate the efforts of the government to create a proper banking channel with Iran, which would give a huge boost to the Pakistani economy, especially in the trade of basmati rice.”

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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