ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to boost exports of poultry and poultry products to the United Arab Emirate (UAE). The government is targeting to become part of the top ten exporters to the UAE. The UAE is expected to import poultry products worth $ 1.1 billion in 2018 and initially, Pakistan would be targeting a share of $ 40 million.
An industry source said that it was decided at a meeting chaired by the Secretary Commerce Younas Dagha here on Friday. The meeting was attended by the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) and concerned officials of the other ministries.
The meeting was informed that there was a massive demand for halal poultry products in the Middle East markets. The local industry could not compete internationally due to a high ratio of taxes in the country. The PPA demanded reduction in import duties on machinery and equipment, sales tax and regulatory duty on poultry inputs.
The Commerce secretary assured that their demands would be looked into and resolved on an urgent basis. It was decided that a comparative chart of incentives given by other countries would be drawn to assess the negative impact on local industry and required tax relief.
The meeting was informed that 14 units were approved for exports to UAE, but due to price issues, exports worth only $ 0.88 million were materialised. Nearly 70 per cent of the exports were made only by a single local company (K&N) that has invested heavily in value added products over the last few years.
The PPA claimed that Pakistan could export up to $ 200 million per annum to UAE alone if the issues of competitiveness were resolved on an urgent basis.
Earlier this year, the UAE government had lifted the eight years old ban on the import of poultry and poultry products from Pakistan. The UAE has granted permission to import day-old chicks and hatching eggs from the companies which are certified for export from the relevant ministry and have attached health certificates.
Pakistan is a major meat exporter to the UAE and is branding itself as a hub for halal meat, including poultry, beef and veal. The UAE annually imports more than $ 700 million of poultry products, a market from which Pakistan was barred for eight years.
The removal of the ban has opened this market for Pakistan exporters, who have made commendable technological progress in the recent years. The ban was placed in 2005 and had caused a loss of half a billion dollars.