The Finance Minister of Pakistan and the Kenyan High Commissioner had a meeting to review the high level of import duty on Pakistani rice. It was informed that in recent months high import duty was affecting Pakistani rice, as narrated by the Pakistani Minister to the Kenyan officials.
Since , last two years, Pakistan has accumulated around 600,000 tons of rice in their surplus stocks and in this year also the crop is likely to be bumper around 7 billion tons. This will push up the surplus stock to over one million tons. Due to this Pakistan is facing a cut throat competition with Thailand, Vietnam and India. Further, the major concern for Pakistani rice importers is about declining global prices and lack of demand from traditional importers.
Kenya, being a part of East African Community (EAC), imposes 75% duty on rice imports from other non-EAC countries. Thus, EAC protects local rice sector from cheap imported rice from the Asian countries. In view of this, both of the countries Pakistan and Kenya agreed to discuss matters related to trade and business cooperation at the upcoming Pak-Kenya Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) meeting which will take place in Pakistan.
According to a report of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan(REAP), in FY 2014-15 (July – June), a total of around 3.73 million tons of rice was exported by Pakistan, raising to about 11% from around 3.37 exported in FY 2013-14.