Iran temporarily lifts ban on Kinnow imports

Iran temporarily lifts ban on Kinnow imports ... 01/03/2017 Import-Export

Keywords:#Afghanistan, #Baluchestan,, #Hassan_Rouhani, #Iran, #Iranian, #Islamabad, #Merchant, #Ministry_of_Commerce, #Nowruz, #Pakistan, #Pakistani, #President, #Rouhani, #Sistan, #Sistan_and_Baluchestan, #Tehran

KARACHI: Iran has temporarily lifted a ban on kinno imports from Pakistan after a break of almost six years, but has restricted the imports to the land route only, i.e. via the Sistan and Baluchestan province.
Pakistan’s embassy in Tehran, through a letter, has informed the Ministry of Commerce that Iran has lifted the ban for only 21 days (until April 20).
Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), said exporters would try their best to capitalise on this opportunity despite the fact that the lifting of the ban was limited and came at a time when the season of kinno in Pakistan was drawing to a close.
However, he said the conditional facility would limit the exports to 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes. He also complained that the Pakistani markets remained flooded by Iranian goods throughout the year, and fruit from Tehran was either smuggled or imported through legal means.
Moreover, despite repeated requests, authorities in Pakistan have not taken up the issue of a ban on Pakistani products with the Iranian government, depriving exporters here of over 70,000 tonnes a season, he said.
Mr Ahmed urged the Iranian government to also lift the ban on sea and air routes and to other cities of the neighbouring country.
He said Pakistan has so far exported 250,000 tonnes of kinno to various countries this season, including 190,000 tonnes by sea and 60,000 tonnes via road.
Ahmed Jawad, regional chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports, urged Iran to lift the ban on a permanent basis.
He said the relaxation was given by Iran before the expected visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to attend ECO summit in Islamabad, and appreciated the move as a signal to strengthen trade between the two countries. Pakistani kinno was in great demand in Iran and it was a good step to lift the restriction three weeks before the Iranian national festival of Nowruz, he noted.
He said the border closure due to security reasons had an adverse impact on the export of kinno to Afghanistan as well, but the exporters would hopefully make up for the loss by selling kinno to Iran.
He also hoped the central banks of Iran and Pakistan would soon sign an agreement to establish banking relations, which would increase the bilateral trade by three times.
Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2017
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