KARACHI: Despite approval for zero rating duty under the generalized system of preferences granted to Pakistan in 2011 local mangoes are yet to gain adequate access to the markets in United States of America due to high freight charges.
Ahmad Jawad, Chairman, Horticulture Exports Committee, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) in a statement Thursday said the lengthy and costly process of export to the US has emerged to a major deterrent in gaining access to the potential market for mangoes in USA.
“Our mangoes are very popular among people in US, however, its high cost as compared to the fruit imported from other South Asian countries has markedly affected its purchase value.” said the seasoned businessman.
He regretted that inability of concerned authorities in the country to address the issue has denied local exporters to take benefit of zero rating duty provided no less than six years ago.
“Consequently, exporters have not been able to gain access to a major market that spends well over $0.5 billion on mango imports,” said Ahmad Jawad.
He cited freight charges calculated at Rs370 for each kilogram as the biggest hindrance in efforts made to acquire steady and solid presence for Pakistani mangoes in USA.
The FPCCI official said what makes exports virtually impossible is the fact that mangoes have to be irradiated at the US facilities, which involves booking and trucking the cargo to a particular facility; completing the irradiation process and taking it back to the market. “Each step costs huge money and delay at any stage threatens the entire consignment’s quality and sale prospects,” he said mentioning that each kilogram costs around $8 for making it saleable in the US market. Adding to this the cost of the mango itself turns the rate of fruit beyond the fiscal reach of the ethnic clientele, he said.