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MoC proposes `NTCIP` for enhancing edibles and floriculture exports

ISLAMABAD (July 19 2007): The Ministry of Commerce has given proposals for enhancing annual export of fruit, vegetables, and floriculture from $150 million to $400 million in the next five years under National Trade Corridor Improvement Programme (NTCIP).

The trade policy envisaged establishment of a cold chain system including pack houses, cold stores and refrigerated containers. As many as 39 modern pack houses, completely automated and equipped with advanced electronic devices for packing/grading and storage plants would be set up at 31 fruits and vegetable growing areas throughout the country.

Besides, 23 facilities for cold storage and controlled atmosphere storage would be established at the fruit production areas, airports and seaports in the country. Two container yards in Karachi and Lahore with a pool of 200 refrigerated containers and 50 controlled atmosphere refrigerated containers at each location will be established. Karachi pool will serve the requirements of Sindh and Balochistan while Lahore pool will serve the requirement of Punjab and NWFP.

Moreover, It has been decided that vegetable oils being exported to Afghanistan will have ingredients information printed in `Dari` and `Pushto` languages as in case of Afghanistan it was observed that all foreign brands contained product information in local language except those imported from Pakistan.

Exporters of footwear are allowed to import duty free footwear samples to meet their export commitments. It has been decided that this facility will be extended to manufacturers as well. This will help local manufacturers to improve the quality of their products and keep themselves abreast with the fashion and trends in vogue in the world market.

Ministry of Commerce carried out detailed studies on state of domestic commerce covering all important activities relating to competitiveness; protection; subsidies; market regulations; wholesale markets; retail markets; storage and warehousing; transport; and real estate.

The studies focused on key areas including firm characteristics, competitiveness, efficiency and regulations. The findings of the studies brought out various strengths and weaknesses of domestic commerce sub-sectors and made specific recommendations for radical improvements.

The recommendations also take into account some improvement in wholesale, retailing sectors and better marketing techniques introduced in some sub-sectors in recent years.

Sustainable improvement requires co-ordination among several Federal Divisions, SBP and Provincial Departments. The Ministry of Commerce has already created a Domestic Commerce Wing. It has been decided that the scope of the wing will be enhanced. The wing would engage additional core experts and consultants to prepare specific action plans for approval after co-ordination with all the concerned agencies.

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