Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Dar urges Commerce, Food Security ministries to prepare strategy for exports to Russia

Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar urged senior officials of the Ministry's of Commerce, Food Security and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to come up with a plan for export of agricultural products to Russia. He said it will enhance overall exports of the country and lessen the current account deficit.
He called upon prospective exporters to take advantage of the ban imposed by Russian government on agricultural imports from European countries.
Secretary, National Food Security and Secretary Commerce briefed the Minister in a meeting here Wednesday on ways and means to enhance volume of agricultural trade with Russia and said they had already initiated measures to have export destinations in Russia for Pakistani food products.
The Finance Minister said Russia has been importing food items worth US $35 billion from around the world, particularly European countries and the ban on imports is creating a space of $16 billion which should be captured and "certainly we would like to have a share in this available market", he remarked.
Pakistan has a sturdy agriculture sector which contributes 21% share to the GDP. We can provide incentives to this sector to further prosper if we find new export destinations for our products, Dar remarked.
Ishaq Dar directed the Ministries of to coordinate and prepare a comprehensive plan identifying exportable food products, keeping in view whether surplus quantities and requisite quarantine arrangements were available.
The Minister observed that quality and standard should be considered in advance to ensure a successful export plan. He emphasized that exports enhancement should not be at the cost of shortage for domestic consumers.
Secretary Food responding said the export plan would take due cognizance of this factor. He also mentioned about a detailed programme for growth in agriculture sector with a view to enhancing agri exports.
He said surge in agricultural exports will encourage investment in the sector. The Minister said such a programme would be extended due consideration.
Ishaq Dar further directed the Ministries to prepare for World Food Exhibition 2015 in Moscow and also arrange single country exhibitions to lure foreign exporters.
Secretary Commerce, Muhammad Shehzad Arbab at this juncture informed the Minister that Commerce Ministry was organizing seminars in Lahore highlighting export opportunities for prospective businessmen and traders. -Reuters

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2014

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