KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Senior Vice President Khalid Tawab expressed serious concerns over the drastic decline of rice export to Saudi Arabia during last couple of years.
He disclosed that as compared to 54% in 2003, the rice export has been declined to 10% in last year. Tawab said that the matter was discussed with the rice exporters and the representatives of REAP to identify the causes of such decline in rice exports to Saudi Arabia.
He informed that Saudi Arabia is a traditional market for Pakistani rice but due to lenient attitudes of our commercial offices at Saudi Arabia, we are losing this huge market.
He further said that REAP, which is the largest representative body of rice exporters in Pakistan, wants to revive the export of rice in the Saudi market and are planning to send a delegation of rice exporters to Saudi Arab since last year. Unfortunately, due to incompetency of Commercial Counsellor Waseem Hayat Bajwa, the said visit of REAP could not be materialised despite all preparations.
Tawab said that the rice exporters, who are the members of REAP, are contributing $2.2 billion valuable foreign exchange annually and they are expecting minimum orders of $400 to 500 million during the visit of REAP delegation to Saudi Arabia due to prevailing lower prices of rice in Pakistan.
He said that FPCCI is persuading REAP to send their delegation immediately to revive the rice market in Saudi Arabia but it was astonishing to learn that the rice exporters demand transfer of the commercial counsellor and they have firm opinion that in his presence the visit of their delegation could not be materialised.
Tawab drew the attention of the Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir towards the declining rice exports and asked necessary measures for the revival of the same. The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry SVP emphasised on immediate removal of the existing commercial counsellor in Riyadh with a suitable competent and professional person should be posted in his place.