KARACHI: Secretary General (Federal) of the Businessmen Panel and Former Chairman Standing Committee FPCCI, Ahmad Jawad here on Thursday suggested direct access of Pakistan made products to the markets of United Sates of America (USA).
He said the tense situation that has emerged only recently is not favorable to any of two, one time close allies, and the concept of aid must be urgently replaced by trade. “This is all the more important as Pakistan has suffered colossal financial loss for playing front-line role in the war on terror and US must support Pakistan to achieve its economic prosperity and self-reliance,” said the seasoned businessman.
Regretting that Pakistan over the years did not receive favorable trade tariffs from the US department of commerce, he said this was despite the fact Pakistan businessmen through varied forums had been seeking trade contact with their US counterparts.
With specific reference to his experience, as former head of FPCCI’s horticultural goods committee, Ahmad Jawad said US allows zero percent duty on Pakistani mangoes but at the same time there was only one airport that was approved to handle shipments from Pakistan.
“Moreover, they also do not allow irradiating Mangoes in Pakistan although such facility exist in Lahore, that is also internationally approved,” he said mentioning that as a representative of FPPCI he had repeatedly requested US officials (agriculture department) to initiate letter of intent with Pakistan.
“Because of unfavorable procedures Pakistan has been unable to capitalize the US market for mangoes and the problem is persistent for past several years,” he said.
To a query, he said USA is the largest bilateral export market for Pakistan and a significant source of foreign direct investment. “Local exporters could still be found frequently complaining that the process of exporting mangoes to the US is lengthy and costly,”
Ahmad Jawad said mentioning that high freight charges estimated at Rs.370 per kilogram are a major obstacle. He said Pakistan is fast emerging as a modern republic in South Asia and it would be prudent that both Pakistani and American businessmen avail immense business potential in Pakistan.
He emphasized that since both the countries have been close allies in the fight against terrorism, a common threat to all nations of the world, he said US, instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, needs to work sincerely with Pakistan to stamp out the menace of terrorism.
“Business community in Pakistan believes that both the countries need to expand cooperation on the basis of Joint Action Plan on Trade and Investment 2013,” said Ahmad Jawad.