REAP urged to use resources to boost rice exports

KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME has urged the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP to wake up and use its resources to influence the world bodies to offer Pakistani rice imports preferential treatment to play effective role in securing food supplies to several countries of the world.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said whilst India is lobbying hard to get international support Pakistan is lacking momentum and REAP has not even realized the impact it would have if Indian rice is given the advantage of reduced duty as against Pakistani rice which would be imported by the G33 countries under the regular import duty.

Thaver said with the World Trade Organization meeting on the anvil and with our Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP, the ministry of commerce (MOC and the REAP not pushing hard, the Pakistani rice exports will be affected as the buyer will import the rice on which import duty is lowered.

He pointed out that the rice exports of Pakistan have declined due to the lethargic behaviour of the promotional institutions and now Pakistan cannot under any circumstances afford to lose the important markets coming under the agreement.

The worst affected will be the SME rice exporters who are exporting value added rice to the global destinations as against the big exporters who are exporting ship loads of coarse rice.

The union has urged REAP to invite the attention of the TDAP and MOC and seek urgent meeting to impress upon them to begin lobbying in the G 33 countries trade circles positively explaining to them the contribution of Pakistani rice towards food security together with India and Thailand.