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Agri Export To Pak Sees Stellar Growth Ahead Of Trade Agreement

Date 01-February-2014
Subject Agri Export To Pak Sees Stellar Growth Ahead Of Trade Agreement

As Pakistan mulls over expanding its market for India, agriculture exports from India to Pakistan have more than doubled in the last year on higher demand for commodities like pulse and vegetables.

Notably, export of agriculture product from India has been a major concern for the farm lobby in Pakistan, which fears abolishing trade barriers with India would hurt domestic farmers.

India’s agriculture export to Pakistan stood at $146 million between April and October 2013, which was nearly 97% higher than the exports in the same period last year, according to data from The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). In terms of quantity too, exports increased three folds, or nearly 198%.

The jump in exports can be attributed to a stellar rise in vegetable exports (520% in dollar and 477% in value terms), and considerable rise in export of pulses (56% in dollar terms and 156% in quantity) and dairy products (170% in value and 147% in quantity terms)

This apart, this year India also exported onions worth $17 million (73140 MT) to Paksitan till October last year, against $8.90 million (38823 MT) for whole of 2013-13.

While India granted MFN Status to Pakistan in 1996, Pakistan recently indicated further opening up of its market on a reciprocal basis after meeting at the commerce ministry level this month. Recently, the two countries also agreed to establish reciprocal Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) by February-end. At present, Pakistan maintains a negative list of nearly 1209 items, which will be abolished under the NDMA.

Despite efforts to boost trade relations, border skirmishes have often been a spoilsport in furthering the trade. For example, recenltly, PoK authorities suspended both trade and travel on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route on after the arrest of the Pakistani driver on the Indian side.

In 2012-13, India’s total trade with Pakistan stood at nearly $2606 million, a growth of nearly 34% over the previous year. Of this, the share of India’s export to Pakistan was $2,064 million, while imports was about $541 million. Pakistan’s main agricultural export to India include, fruits, onions and shrimps among other things.

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