Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has rejected Trade Development Authority of Pakistan’s proposal of making pre-shipment inspection of all rice shipments mandatory. A delegation of REAP led by its chairman Chaudhry Samee Ullah Naeem Thursday held a meeting with Dr Syed Javaid Akhter, Director General TDAP at TDAP Office and discussed issues related to rice exports. Rafique Suleman, Senior Vice Chairman REAP, Pir Syed Nazim Hussain Shah and Abdul Karim Memon, Director TDAP were also present. Chairman REAP said rice exporters are putting their untiring efforts towards the growth of the country’s economy. He urged TDAP to look into the issues and problems of rice exporters and support REAP in resolving the same. He rejected the TDAP proposal of mandatory pre-shipment inspection of all rice shipments. He was of the view that due to this step, cost of rice exporters will not only increase, but the trade relations between exporters and buyers will also be affected. He said that such condition has not been implemented internationally and even Pakistan’s competitors such as India, Thailand and Vietnam have also not made this condition mandatory. This condition is also not implemented at other export sectors of Pakistan, he added. Chairman REAP urged TDAP to leave the matter on the disposal of exporters and importers to let them tackle it with mutual understanding. Chaudhry Samee Ullah said that REAP will oppose all such steps which lead to government intervention in this free trade. He asked TDAP to improve Pakistani stalls at international food exhibitions, as REAP members have reservations over the location of stalls, their making and quality. He said REAP has planned distribution of Biryani during Gulf Food, besides awards to major rice importers. In order to implement this proposal, REAP has also arranged a meeting with federal commerce minister next week, he added. Rafique Suleman, Senior Vice Chairman REAP voiced concern over non-participation of Pakistan in the tender of Qatar’s grain procurement body – Central Tender Committee (CTC). He said this was a golden opportunity for Pakistan to enhance its rice exports. “Hopefully after the inclusion of Pakistani rice in the next CTC tender, rice exports to Qatar will enhance by approximately 25,000 metric tons generating a foreign exchange of some $12.5 million for the country at a time, when the country’s forex reserves are depleting due to external debt payment. Rafique urged TDAP to take urgent steps to ensure Pakistan’s participation in the next CTC tender. He also requested TDAP to issue notification to grant authority to REAP for issuance of Certificate of Origin for rice shipments. The senior vice chairman said REAP is planning to send trade delegations to various countries for marketing and promotion of Pakistani rice. He requested TDAP to extend all-out support to REAP trade delegations. Dr Syed Javaid Akhter DG TDAP assured REAP delegation of full support. He announced making a joint committee of TDAP and REAP which will have meetings on a monthly basis. This committee will also propose indicative floor prices of rice varieties, so that Pakistani rice exporters could get better price for their products.