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KARACHI: Pakistan Businesses Forum vice president Ahmad Jawad has said the onset of COVID-19 is driving the demand for fresh and processed citrus products up around the world, and the Pakistani kinnow exporters have been trying to capitalize on these market conditions.

He said kinnow exports to the United Kingdom by air had begun as well. A consignment of 2.2 tons had reached Manchester, and now fresh kinnow consignments would be delivered on a regular basis throughout the season through special arrangements. Nevertheless, Pakistan has witnessed a downward trend in kinnow exports, which seems to be directly related to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Jawad said disruption in transport operations might have resulted in the decline in exports, and it had been becoming costlier to send the exports to the Middle Eastern and Chinese markets where the demand was still strong.

Moreover, Afghanistan recently imposed a duty on Pakistani kinnows.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are to hold the next round of parleys on a new draft of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) at the end of the current month or early next month as the term of the pact expires on February 11.

Ahmad Jawad said the federal government was not even willing to raise the quota issue with its Indonesian counterpart as the island country issued quota at a time when the kinnow season was about to end here.

“We have suggested barter trade with Indonesia — selling kinnow against large palm oil imports — but to no avail,” he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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