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ISLAMABAD: In a recent major development, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has acquired market access for Pakistani cherries to China, which is being termed as important milestone for the country, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

As of FY 2021, the total import of cherries in China was $ 3.6 billion. In 2021, Chilean cherries accounted for 95 percent of China’s cherry imports.

“With this success, not only would Pakistani farmers, orchid growers, and exporters get freight advantage, the Chinese importers will save revenue by importing quality fresh cherries from Pakistan, given the physical proximity of Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan with China,” the sources said, adding that this achievement has the potential to develop and transform the G-B region.

In its notification, the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) People’s Republic of China declared that China has opened up its market for Pakistan fresh cherries.

Alliance between Pak, Chinese exporters in the offing

According to sources, Pakistani orchards wishing to export to China, as well as packaging houses, cold stores and the cold treatment facilities taking part in the respective export process, shall be registered by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR), and approved by both the MNFSR and the GACC. The export of cherries will be subject to certain requirements relating to inspection and quarantine, biosecurity, food safety and phytosanitary measures.

To establish traceability system, all orchards registered for export shall adopt the good agricultural practices (GAP), including keeping good sanitary conditions in orchards and the integrated pest management (IPM) programmes shall also be implemented, including pest monitoring, chemical or biological control and farm operations. The packing and processing of cherries for export will be supervised by the MNFSR to ensure good sanitary conditions to prevent pest re-infection.

The efforts of the government of Pakistan were instrumental in initiation, execution and completion of this crucial market opening for Pakistan. Secretary Commerce, Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui played an important role in achievement of this milestone, said an official of Commerce Ministry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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