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IN A FIRST, PAKISTAN TO EXPORT WHITE RICE TO INDONESIA
1/21/2018

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE (21/01/2018)

IN A FIRST, PAKISTAN TO EXPORT WHITE RICE TO INDONESIA

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistani firms have secured an order to export 65,000 tons of white rice (non-Basmati) to Indonesia, said the Ministry of Commerce on Saturday. This would be the first time Pakistan would be exporting white rice to Indonesia.

The two countries have recently agreed to revise their preferential trade agreement (PTA) to make it mutually beneficial and address the imbalance in bilateral trade. Pakistan-Indonesia’s bilateral trade volume increased from $1.23 billion in 2011-12 to $2.44 billion in financial year 2016-17.

However, ever since the PTA with Indonesia became operational in 2013, Pakistan’s exports have been on a negative trajectory, coming down from $196 million in 2012-13 to $138 million in 2016-17.

To address this, Pakistan initiated a review of PTA with Indonesia and, among other things, took up the issue of market access for rice with its trading partner in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia has agreed to revise its trade pact with Pakistan, making 20 more items, including rice from Pakistan, duty-free.

The tender for procurement of 500,000 tons of rice was floated by Indonesia during the outgoing week, out of which 84,000 tons were to be sourced from South Asia. Two Pakistani firms took part in the bidding process and secured the order on January 19. India would export the rest of South Asia’s rice quota to Indonesia.

“The Ministry of Commerce is hopeful that the breakthrough made would prove to be a milestone in tapping the huge Indonesian white rice market,” said a statement issued by the ministry on Saturday.

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