Delegation of REAP in a Meeting with Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment

Islamabad July 11, 2019. Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment in a Meeting with Delegation of REAP.

Recently, Central Tendering Committee (CTC) advertised a tender for the procurement of 100,000 bag from Pakistan which provides an enormous opportunity for the export of Pakistan rice to Qatar. This initiative will open a new avenue for market access of Pakistani rice, which will significantly contribute in enhancing the country’s exports.

Rice Exports Association of Pakistan (REAP) commented on the achievement, “REAP is extremely grateful to the PM and the Advisor to PM Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood, for their focused efforts in successfully helping REAP open up the Premium Basmati Market in Qatar, for supply of Pakistan Rice to Qatar Market. At the same time REAP in collaboration with Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will be submitting its recommendation to ensure that only top-quality basmati Rice is shipped to Qatar, and REAP has already initiated the consultative process with the top basmati brands in order to make this another success story. It is encouraging with Basmati Rice exports have seen upwards trend fetching USD 637.99 Million dollars FY 2018-19 compared to USD 581.85 million dollars for the same period last year, the upward trend in basmati exports have complimented in achieving the USD 2.1 billion dollar mark, as non-basmati exports saw a downward trend recorded at USD 1.436 billion dollars FY 2018-19 compared to USD 1.45374 billion dollars for the same period , REAP attributed this to competition of Subsidized exports into the African Continent from Competition Origins of Old Crop Non-Basmati Stocks , which MINCOM has already taken up on their side”.

REAP is indebted to the current MOC team lead by the Advisor to PM and is optimistic that the focused effort which MINCOM has taken up on re-negotiating the PTA’s and FTA’s, more promising results are expected going forward. Some of the recent Successes of this MINCOM Team in addition to Qatar, has been securing duty free access for broken rice into Indonesia which is un precedented and securing additional access into the Chinese Market, REAP representative added.

Previously, the private sector in Qatar continued to import rice from Pakistan, the Central Tendering Committee (CTC), Government of Qatar which procures for state-supplied subsidized rice for Qatari citizens made its tender Indian-origin specific thereby effectively, banning the import of any other origin rice including Pakistani rice into Qatar in 2011-12. The CTC issues tenders after every two months for supply of more than 5000 MT of high-quality rice to the government of Qatar and the Pakistani origin rice has been excluded from these tenders. Therefore, Pakistani exporters/suppliers have been deprived of supplying of about 30000 to 40000 MT good quality rice to Qatar per annum. Reportedly, the main reason for this change was the sub-standard and low-quality Pakistani rice supplied by the exporters against the government tenders in 2011-12. The Indian rice exporters were the ultimate beneficiaries of this situation and Indian rice exports to Qatar reached to 142,000 tons in 2017 from 18,774 tons in 2011.

Moreover, during the recent visit of Iranian Commerce Minister to Pakistan Iran has offered to import 500,000 tons rice from Pakistan which provides an opportunity for rice exporters, and a meeting of REAP delegation was arranged with Iranian side on 4th July 2019, so that they could work out modalities. The Iranian delegation also extended its full support to work on removal of potential bottlenecks to increase trade and jointly develop a way forward. It is pertinent to mention that China has also opened its market for Pakistani rice along with sugar and yarn under the 1 billion USD buying arrangement.

The Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production and Investment Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood stated that the Government intends to take export to the highest level ever. The Government is taking different measures for export enhancement including reclaiming traditional markets besides accessing to new markets. One of the initiatives is to manage removal of restrictions on Pakistani products in foreign markets. Removal of restriction by Qatar on Pakistani rice export is a step in this direction that will reclaim Pakistan’s share in the global rice market.