Food trade faring well in global trade

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Food trade faring well in global trade

ISLAMABAD, Dec 2 (APP): Pakistan’s food exports are faring
well in the global food trade, when compared with the overall share
of Pakistani exports in the global trade.
The size of global food export in 2014 was US$ 1486 billion
whereas the Pakistan’s exports of food items in 2015-16 stood US$
3.4 billion.

“Pakistan’s share in the global market of food products was
0.22%, which is better than Pakistan’s share in overall global trade
i.e. 0.14%,” official source said.

The major sub-sectors in food sector are rice, fish and its
products, fruits and vegetables, spices, animal feeds, seeds,
molasses, guar and guar products, tobacco, wheat etc.

However, the food exports from the country could be enhanced
manifold provided a focus is shifted to resolve the issues faced by
this particular sector.

The challenges include low productivity, post harvest losses,
high cost of doing business, shortage of gas and electricity, use of
old techniques of production as well as lack of food sector-specific
initiatives.

The government has already introduced Strategic Trade Policy
Framework (STPF 2015-18) to boost the share of Pakistani food
exports in the international trade.

Under the framework, the government provided 50% support on
the cost of imported new plant and machinery for agro processing
SMEs in specified under-developed regions. It provided 100% mark-up
support on the cost of imported new plant and machinery on all
Pakistan basis.

The support for import of parboiling machinery has been
included in the Technology Up-gradation Support envisaged in the
STPF (2015-18) to enhance the export of parboiled basmati rice.

In addition, the government also introduced many general
initiatives related to overall export enhancement envisaged in the
framework including exploration of new markets for diversification
of exports especially in Africa, Latin America and Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS).

A three-pronged strategy of trade diplomacy in the
multilateral, regional and bilateral arenas for increasing market
access has also been introduced.

An inter-ministerial working group comprising Ministries of
Science and Technology, Commerce and National Food Security and
Research will be constituted to work on quality standardization and
harmonization of Pakistan standards, the sources added.

A matching grant would be provided to SME in export sectors
under Brand and Certification Development Support, he said.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) also
organized participation in 19th international exhibitions
related to food sector during the fiscal year 2015-16 besides
arranging visits of trade delegations during the year to promote
exports of agro food products from Pakistan in the world market,
official sources said.