KARACHI: Fruit exporters taking exception to growing gap in the imports and exports of ountry’s trade goods have called for ban on imports of non essential luxury items, including exotic fruits.
Ahmad Jawad, Regional Chairman on Horticulture Exports, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) here on Tuesday said during past few years imported fruits like apples, oranges and some other vegetables have penetrated in the markets. This, he said was despite the fact that Pakistan itself was blessed with fruits and vegetables known for their unique taste. “Yet we witness that imported fruits are sold at much higher rates as many of the consumer are attracted to their cosmetic look,” commented the FPCCI official.
In reply to a question, he acknowledged that import of apple and other fruits has supplemented the limited availability of local varieties of the same fruits.
“High price of imported fruits has simultaneously shrunk the market as many consumers find it beyond their means”, he said. In the given situation, the FPCCI official said there was dire need for investment in the fruit sector, right from production to packing levels.
To another query, he said urgent attention must also be extended towards tapping international markets for locally produced fruits and vegetables as they can easily clinch demand worth Rs. $1000 million annually.
Concerted efforts, dedication and sincerity of purpose is needed, he said seeking reduction in the export duty on horticulture produce coupled with provision for 10% freight subsidy ultimately turning fruits and vegetable of the country competitive for the buyers. Ahmad Jawad re-emphasized that imported fruits do fascinate buyers as they look better, however, can not compete in terms of taste with Pakistani variety.