Unrest in Middle East hampers export activities


KARACHI – Export promotional activities have been hampered due to the prevalent unrest in Middle Eastern/African countries. Pakistan, habitual of attending international business exhibitions and fairs in respective countries/region, has cancelled visit of various delegations following the uprising in different countries of the two regions.
Traders had been facilitated by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP); however the grave law and order situation in foreign countries have posed a major question over mega events. The “Tripoli Food and Pack Show 2011”, scheduled to be held in Libya in May 2, 2011, is likely to be postponed after the prolonged and violent uprising in the country.
The local exporters/traders were willing to attend the fairs; however they have cancelled plans of visiting the foreign country. Members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) had, on most occasions, attended the international event in Libya. Tripoli Food and Pack Show is a premier trade fair for food and food technologies machinery industry in Tarabulus. The event provides a unique opportunity to bring all professionals, from the related industry, under one roof.
Middle East Coatings Show and Cairo International, scheduled for March, 1 and March 3, 2011 respectively, has also reportedly been cancelled due to the recent political turmoil. However, sources said that trade fairs, scheduled to be held in Middle Eastern countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arab, and Kuwait, were likely to be held accordingly as the situation in the region was favorable for international exhibitions.
The exporters would attend these fairs, as per the schedule, to promote the country’s products in foreign markets. However, trade and trade promotional activities in Africa especially in the northern region were being affected by the fresh uprising. Though, over all export of Pakistan, has boosted during the last seven months, export to Africa has exhibited zero growth during six months of the financial year 2010-2011.
Pakistan’s exports to Africa stood at $610.189 million during July to December 2010 compared to $610.338 million in the corresponding period last year. However, country’s export to various regions including America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and others during the six months increased by 18 percent, 14 percent, 22 percent, 16 percent and 19 percent respectively.
Uncertainty and uprising in important countries of the region like Egypt and Libya, sources said, would further dampen the country’s export to the region.