ISLAMABAD: Although Pakistan has been exporting tobacco and tobacco products to various countries, now for the first time, the country is going to export cigarettes worth $50 million, it is learnt reliably.
According to sources, Pakistani tobacco companies have received an import order of cigarette from gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.
Local tobacco firms had earlier received an import order but were unable to meet quality standards and the entire stock had to be put to waste.
“All the standards set by the importers have now been met successfully and we are expecting the export of cigarettes to Middle Eastern countries to start by next month,” said a top-ranked source in Pakistan Tobacco Board while talking to Pakistan Today. “It is a positive development that Pakistan will be exporting the finished product for the first time. We may be able to export cigarettes to other countries once we successfully capture the Gulf market.”
Pakistan has a market share of around $25 million in the $80 billion trade of world tobacco. According to sources, Pakistan has been exporting tobacco (unfinished) worth $25 million to Middle East and some European countries, which is almost 30pc of the tobacco being produced in the country. The rest of tobacco is consumed in making cigarettes for domestic market.
As per statistics of financial year 2018-19, at least 108,000 tonnes of tobacco worth $24.4 million was exported to at least 26 countries.
Pakistan’s major tobacco export destinations included South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Netherlands, UAE, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, UK, Kuwait, Poland, Australia, USA, Singapore, Canada, Ukraine, Philippines, Bangladesh, Belgium, Afghanistan, Italy, Russia, Yemen, and Bulgaria.