Pakistan eases tariff on three Lankan commodities
Posted on May 2nd, 2013

Media Ministry of Industry & Commerce

  • 100% waiver for coconut oil exports!
  • Lanka-Paki trade jumps by a strong 174%!
  • Y’12 total trade at $ 433.69 Mn
  • 11th JEC Sessions coming before end-“ƒ”¹…”13
  • Secy level meetings conclude successfully in Islamabad

Boosting Lanka-Pakistan bilateral trade levels and cooperation and ahead of the next JEC meet, Pakistan has now eased tariffs on three Lankan commodities it directly imports from Sri Lanka. “On behalf of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, I thank the government of Pakistan for honouring Minister Basil’s requests and reducing tariff on three Lankan export items. This is a step in the right direction as opportunities under our FTA are not fully utilised and it’s time to do so” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 24 April.

Minister Bathiudeen was addressing (HE) Maj Gen Qasim Qureshi, the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka on 24 April when (HE) Qureshi made a courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen at the EDB premises, Colombo. This was the first courtesy call by (HE) Qureshi on Minister Bathiudeen.

“I too fully agree that many opportunities under Lanka “”…” Pakistan FTA are not fully utilised and it’s time to do so. Our bilateral trade basket needs to be diversified further since its concentrated around 4-5 major commodities. For example, Pakistan has a big sugar industry but Sri Lanka does not import sugar from Pakistan. Also, exploring a formal mechanism for interaction of various bilateral Business Chambers is a way forward to boost our trade and more importantly, investments” said (HE) Qureshi.

Currently, there are 25 BOI projects undertaken by Pakistani investors in Sri Lanka covering garments, chemicals, petroleum, rubber, plastics, leather products, food and beverages, and tobacco.  (HE) Qureshi added: “Sri Lanka’s (import) tariffs are a problem for Pakistan. But we have eased our import tariffs on three commodities from Sri Lanka-namely crude coconut oil, betel leaves, and bottle cooling machines.”

According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Pakistan imports 5,000-6,000 MT of betel leaves annually.  Sri Lanka is the largest supplier followed by Thailand, Bangladesh and India. Pakistan is the only single market for Sri Lanka’s betel leaves. Pakistan has reduced Lankan betel import tariff by 35% (In 2010, $ 5.77 Mn valued Lankan betel leaves were exported to Pakistan). Pakistan has also reduced tariff on Lankan crude coconut oil by 50% and with effect from July, the crude coconut oil duty waiver will be 100%! (In 2011, Sri Lanka exported $ 1.25 Mn crude coconut oil to Pakistan. Previously, Pakistan agreed to remove crude coconut oil from its no concession list and phase out in two annual installments and provide market access for bottle cooling machines on a Margin of Preference of 50%).

Followed by India, Pakistan ranks as the second largest buyer Sri Lankan products in the SAARC region, accounting about 10% of Sri Lanka’s total exports to the region.

“Bilateral trade between both countries experienced a substantial growth after Free Trade Agreement between the two countries was implemented in 2005. The total trade which stood at $ 158 Mn in 2005 rose to $ 433.69 Mn in 2012, showing a strong 174% growth!” stressed Minister Bathiudeen.

The balance of trade has always been in favour of Pakistan. Natural rubber, vegetable products, coconuts, brazil nuts, tea, wood,  Oil cake, new pneumatic tyres (rubber), Coconut (copra) oil are Sri Lanka’s main exports to Pakistan.

Both Minister Bathiudeen and (HE) Qureshi were on the consensus that the 11th Joint Economic Commission Sessions should be concluded before the end of Y2013. The bilateral Commerce Secretary level meetings on the forthcoming 11th Joint Economic Sessions (JEC) between both countries, which started on 29 April successfully concluded on 30 April in Islamabad. The previous (10th) Lanka-Pakistan JEC was held in Islamabad on 4-5 July 2011 successfully covering a wide range of subjects, including trade in goods, services, agriculture, tourism, science and technology, education & air services, and  technical assistance.

 

2 Responses to “Pakistan eases tariff on three Lankan commodities”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    What foolish idiots!
    Rishad Bathiudeen and Pakistan! What a combination to fool SL.

    Just look at the numbers.

    “Pakistan has reduced Lankan betel import tariff by 35% (In 2010, $ 5.77 Mn valued Lankan betel leaves were exported to Pakistan”

    “In 2011, Sri Lanka exported $ 1.25 Mn crude coconut oil to Pakistan.”

    So the TOTAL BENEFIT to SL = $5.77 + $1.25 = $7.02 Mn

    Look at the total trade = $ 433.69 Mn in 2012!!

    The benefit we get is PEANUTS!!!

    But look at at the BENEFITS to Pakistani side we will have to balance.

    “Currently, there are 25 BOI projects undertaken by Pakistani investors in Sri Lanka covering garments, chemicals, petroleum, rubber, plastics, leather products, food and beverages, and tobacco.”

    ANY FOOL can understand garments, chemicals, petroleum, rubber, plastics, leather products, food and beverages, and tobacco are MORE VALUABLE than beetle and crude coconut oil.

    So Pakistan gets a benefit of $ 200 million dollars if we allow them tarrif free imports to SL.

    What a foolish govt. to allow a Pakistani MP to strike trade deals with Pakistan!!
    Just like the Arab justice minister administering justice!!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Trivia time!!

    Who imported 30,000 injections for abortion of Sinhala women to reduce Sinhala population growth while Tamil and Muslim population growth is ASTRONIMICALLY HIGH, higher than rats?

    The answer: A very religious Muslim man!

    Lets NOT hide facts and live in a fools’ paradise. Lets ACCEPT FACTS so that we can move forward.

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