Despite challenges, Pakistan’s rice exports smash the $2 billion mark

The Advisor to the Prime Minister, Abdul Razak Dawood, is also optimistic about Pakistan's future rice exports.

Pakistan's Rice Exports Increased 38.58% in First Five Months of FY 2019-20Despite several challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan’s rice exports have smashed the $2 billion mark.

This was communicated by Abdul Razak Dawood, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production, and Investment, in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

In a post, Dawood expressed his happiness over the rice exporters’ success in smashing the $2 billion export mark despite several challenges.

A wholesale rice market in Karachi. (REUTERS)

These challenges include the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a worldwide logistical crisis, and the ever-increasing freight rates.

It is pertinent to note that the last two challenges are a direct product of the first challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put the world in myriads of unpredictable lockdowns and caused a shortage of containers worldwide, creating a global logistical crisis.

Moreover, due to the abnormal openings and closings of global economies, freight rates — the cost of transporting cargo from one point to the other — have surged by up to 700% worldwide, including Pakistan.

Furthermore, India and Pakistan are currently at odds over the GI (geographical indicator) tag of Basmati rice in the European Union (EU).

While Pakistan wants both the South Asian countries to share the GI tag of Basmati rice mutually, India, on the other hand, wants an exclusive share. So, there is uncertainty in this situation.

Therefore, it is commendable if such an essential component of Pakistan’s overall exports is breaking barriers in spite of the ongoing challenges.

In another post, the Advisor congratulated the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) members for this “remarkable achievement.”

He added that the government would keep on implementing policies to support the rice industry and facilitate rice export.

Dawood also reiterated the importance of rice as a vital and integral component of Pakistan’s overall exports.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan’s overall exports grew to $2.35 billion in July 2021 compared to $2 billion in July 2020. This is a 17.3% rise on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.

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