While taking a waiver from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Philippine has fixed quota of rice imports from Pakistan to 25,000 tons for two years, restricting the imports to five years. The quota of imports from Pakistan for another three years has been fixed at 50,000 tons each year. A mutual agreement has been signed during a recently held meeting at Ministry of Commerce, sources told Business Recorder.
Philippine had already entered into agreements with China and India to get restricted import of rice on the same pattern. According to the sources, representatives of Agricultural Ministry and National Food Authority of Philippine who attended the meeting also agreed to reduce customs duty from 50 percent to 40 percent during the first two years while the duty could be further relaxed to 35 percent in the remaining three years.
The meeting was attended by representatives of MoC, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) on the part of Pakistan. Philippine was going into country-specific deals for controlling the import of rice to save its own production and local market. It has also obtained special waiver from WTO in this regard.
Earlier, Pakistan was exporting around 0.2 million Non-Basmati rice Irri to the country openly. Talking to Business Recorder, Javed Ali Ghoary Chairman Reap said China and Sri Lanka have emerged as important market for Pakistani rice as 6,000 tons of rice quota tendered by TDAP on February 3, has been used by exporters by February 13 while the demands for the country’s commodity in the foreign market still existed.
Keeping further demands for Pakistani Basmati rice in view, he said, the Reap through a letter has demanded of the MoC and TDAP to enhance the quota from 6,000 tons to 12,000 tons to facilitate the country’s rice exports. The same letter has also been forwarded to the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi. According to Javed, a record export of 72,623 tons worth $30 million Non-Basmati rice to China was made in January 2013 which would definitely support the country’s total exports.