FTA’s harming poultry industry in Pakistan
Free Trade Agreements signed with Malaysia as well as China, are damaging the poultry industry in Pakistan, experts have warned.
Processed chicken products imported under the FTA with Malaysia are subject to 0% import duty and from China at 16% import duty. In addition, local processors are unable to export their products to these countries as multiple factors have made them uncompetitive.
Pakistan Poultry Association North Zone chairman Raza Mehmood Khursand observed that presently Pakistan's normal import duty on the import of chicken is only 25% against India, who in return have a 100% import duty on chicken to protect its local industry.
Chicken processing facilities are particularly needed in the country as Pakistan is processing just 3-4% of its poultry while 90% of the poultry is sold as raw. "At present several poultry processing units are in progress in the country as the processing plants have been imported and construction is underway but if relaxed import policies continue billions of rupees investment in the poultry processing industry will be shattered," Khursand warned.
Khursand also stated that Pakistan requires at least Rs200 billion investment to provide hygienic chicken to the whole nation of 180 million people. However, the easy imports of processed chicken will restrict the new investment in this industry, he added.
Pakistan Poultry Association senior vice chairman Khalil Sattar suggested that Pakistan should only enter into Free Trade Agreements and Preferential Trade Agreements with those countries where it has a clear and mutual competitive advantage.
That local cost of production is already high on account of electricity and gas outages and prevalence of epidemic diseases on account of lack of regulations, coupled with import duties on inputs, making the local production uncompetitive.
Sattar, who has recently celebrated 50th anniversary in poultry industry, proposed that until the international community's regulations requirements are fulfilled, no further FTAs be signed which include processed chicken meat and its value added products.
Source: The Nation
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