ISLAMABAD: The United States is likely to implement zero duty on import of Pakistani mangoes in the upcoming Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a senior Ministry of Commerce official told The Express Tribune.
The officer said that a high-level meeting between the ministry and US officials was held recently to discuss GSP-related issues with focus on Pakistani mango exports. It was understood that the GSP pertaining to Pakistani mangoes will be effective for the next two months.
At present, there is a 10% duty on import of Pakistani mangoes to the US that, after the status, will be brought down to zero.
The official said that around 200 tonnes of Pakistani mangoes are exported to the US and are available at $3.5 per kilogramme in different cities. This cut in import duty will ultimately help increase the quantity of exports to the US market. Major cities where Pakistani mangoes are being marketed are Houston, Austin and Dallas.
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“This will be a good move for the horticulture sector of Pakistan and will help facilitate mango exports to US,” said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Chairman Standing Committee on Horticulture Ahmad Jawad.
Jawad said mango exports to the US received approval in 2010, but the volumes remain meagre till date due to procedural issues.
“I think the upcoming GSP would prove a window of opportunity for our mangoes in the US, which is an attractive market for Pakistani fruit,” he said. “It is one of the largest importers of mangoes and Pakistan would like to capitalise it with full potential.”
He suggested that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should also consider the process of Hot Water Treatment (HWT) for Pakistani mangoes to increase the volumes. The HWT process was approved by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (DAFF) for Pakistani mangoes to Australia.
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The GSP status of 127 countries including Pakistan had been suspended for the past 20 months by the US Congress. However, the amount of duty paid on the products will be refunded to Pakistani exporters after its re-authorisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.
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