ISLAMABAD, Feb 25: Pakistani kinno has made its first ever presence in China as a container carrying 26 tons of the citrus finds its way into Chinese market during the current season under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The FTA allows a zero per cent customs duty facility on Pakistanís horticulture products like kinno, mango and vegetables offering opportunities for grabbing huge Chinese markets.An official in the Commerce Ministry told Dawn that the opening of Chinese market for kinno was mainly the outcome of signing of an agreement on quarantine issues between the two countries. Under the agreement, the export of kinno would be subject to a cold treatment at 1.67C or below for 17 consecutive days or 2.2C for 21 days.
The Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) estimated that kinno export to China would cross 100,000 tons in next four to five years.
Chinaís local citrus crop ends in February, while Pakistanís lasts till first week of April indicating a huge potential for export to Beijing in the off-season.
Kinno export crossed 80,000 tons up to January 31, 2008 mainly due to revival of the Russian market and it was expected that the 200,000 tons export target set for the current season would be achieved easily on the back of bumper crop, the PHDEB said in a report.
The UAE, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and some Gulf states are the main markets for Pakistani citrus.
The PHDEB report pointed out that the kinno export had been slow in January mainly owing to logistical reasons as major shipping lines were reluctant to take consignments to Iran and Russia.