Economy, Domestic Economy

Pakistani Rice Exporters Pin Hopes on Resuming Trade

Pakistani Rice Exporters Pin Hopes on Resuming Trade
Pakistani Rice Exporters Pin Hopes on Resuming Trade

A 22-member delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan left for a five-day visit to Iran on Friday to explore trade and investment opportunities in general and boost rice export to Iran in particular.

The delegation, led by REAP Chairman Chowdhury Muhammad Shafique, is visiting Tehran and Mashhad, where it will meet members of the two Iranian cities’ chambers of commerce (representatives of the private sector), the Pakistani newspaper The Nation reported.

Shafique said REAP would discuss issues related to the resumption of rice exports, which nosedived after sanctions, from Pakistan, implementation of currency swap agreement and the good manufacturing practices certificate issued by Iranian authorities.

The Pakistan exporters’ team will also hold meetings with Government Trading Corporation of Iran, besides meeting Health Ministry officials to raise the issue of GMP certification for Pakistani rice exporters, which presently has become a major hurdle in the way of rice export to Iran.

The Iranian Health Ministry has set health standards for the rice import and only those who are registered under its GMP certification program can export rice to the country.

According to Shafique, the Iranian authorities have so far registered only 15 Pakistani companies, whose consignments meet their health standards.

He added that the Pakistani team also intends to convince GTC to announce tenders for super basmati and long grain 386 rice so that REAP members could avail the facility to book export orders for Iran.

With a view to enhance liaison between the businessmen of two countries, the REAP members’ group will hold B2B meetings with Rice Importers Association of Iran.

The REAP chairman will also call on the Pakistan commercial attache in Mashhad. He hoped that the visit will not only bring Pakistani and Iranian businessmen closer but would also open doors for boosting rice export to Iran, which is a key sector for Pakistan.

Iran is one of the largest rice importers and purchasers of rice worth $2 billion every year.

However, Pakistan’s rice accounts for only 8$ of Iran’s market.