Pakistan launches ‘mango diplomacy’ to enhance export to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan’s embassy in Saudi Arabia organized a mango festival in Riyadh on August 14, 2020, to mark the country’s Independence Day and promote Pakistani fruits and vegetables in the kingdom. (Photo courtesy Pakistan’s embassy in Riyadh)
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Updated 16 August 2020

Pakistan launches ‘mango diplomacy’ to enhance export to Saudi Arabia

  • Officials say the country’s overall export to the kingdom surged by 19 percent in July 2020 
  • Pakistan’s overall fruit and vegetable exports recorded an increase of 12.5 percent to $730 million in FY20 

KARACHI: Pakistan’s embassy in Saudi Arabia organized a mango festival in Riyadh on Friday to promote different varieties of the famous Pakistani fruit on the 74th Independence Day of the country.

“The mango festival is part of the mango diplomacy initiative of Pakistan to introduce different varieties of Pakistani mangoes worldwide to different nationalities and ethnicities,” said an official statement issued by the country’s diplomatic mission.

The event was inaugurated by the country’s envoy in Saudi Arabia, Raja Ali Ejaz, and it was attended by Arab dignitaries, diplomats and people belonging to different nationalities.




Pakistan’s embassy in Saudi Arabia organized a mango festival in Riyadh on August 14, 2020, to mark the country’s Independence Day and promote Pakistani fruits and vegetables in the kingdom. (Photo courtesy Pakistan’s embassy in Riyadh) 

“Arabs have developed a taste for Pakistani mangoes,” Azhar Ali Dahar, who works with the trade and investment wing of the Pakistan embassy in Riyadh, told Arab News on the phone. “The Pakistani mango is now being imported not only from Pakistan but also from other Middle Eastern markets.”

Pakistani diplomats in the kingdom are optimistic that their country’s export of mango will increase by 30 to 40 percent during the next season.

“We have gifted about 1,000 kilograms of mangoes to the notables of the kingdom and hope that this will bring about further growth in the export of the fruit during the next season,” Ehtisham Farooq, trade development officer at the embassy, said.

Pakistan’s overall exports to Saudi Arabia also recorded an increase of 18.85 percent during the first month of the current fiscal year as compared to the same month last year as the country’s trade mission in the kingdom adopted a product diversification strategy.




Pakistan’s embassy in Saudi Arabia organized a mango festival in Riyadh on August 14, 2020, to mark the country’s Independence Day and promote Pakistani fruits and vegetables in the kingdom. (Photo courtesy Pakistan’s embassy in Riyadh) 

“During July 2020, Pakistan’s export to the kingdom witnessed a surge of 18.85 percent to $42.32 million as compared to $35.61 million worth of exports in July 2019,” Dahar said. “The demand for food items has also increased the demand of Pakistani products during and after the virus-related lockdown.”

“We are also negotiating with local authority to allow the import of fish from Pakistan which will further increase our exports,” he added.

During the outgoing fiscal year, despite the all the impediments caused by the novel coronavirus, the country’s export of fruits and vegetables surged by 12.5 percent, amounting to $730 million.

“Pakistani exporters adopted land and sea routes when it became difficult to export their products by air,” Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association, said.

“The federal government extended its support and assistance to the exporters and took timely decisions in removing barriers to the enhancement of exports,” he added.

Ahmed noted that the efforts also resulted in the reduction of air freight, facilitating exporters to compete in the highly demanding Middle Eastern and Gulf markets.

Pakistan’s imports from Saudi Arabia also increased by 5.57 percent to $162.55 million in July 2020 as compared to $153.97 million in July 2019. Pakistan’s overall exports during July 2020 increased by six percent to $2 billion.


Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

Updated 18 September 2020

Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

  • Under the plan, the government will set up 12 markets along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier
  • Prime minister approves setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by February next year

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has decided to set up markets along its borders with neighboring Afghanistan and Iran to boost trade opportunities, foster peace and check smuggling, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
Main crossing point into Pakistan for both goods and people from Iran and Afghan also serve as major smuggling routes.
“The border markets will help create job opportunities and establish a peaceful relationship with the neighboring countries,” Aisha Humera Moriani, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce, told Arab News.
Under the plan, the government is establishing 18 markets: 12 along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier.
In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan approved setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as a pilot project, to be functional by February next year.
Moriani said the markets would contribute to local development and help the government address “smuggling and boost legal trade across the border.”
Pakistan is fencing its borders with Afghanistan and Iran to check cross-border militancy, illegal movement of people and smuggling, which is a major source of income for people living along border towns and villages.
Sardar Shoukat Popalzai, President Balochistan Economic Forum, said the government should have built “common markets” along the Afghanistan and Iran borders with the mutual consent of the neighboring governments to maximize benefits for people on both sides of the borders.
“The government has not released a feasibility report, if there is any, of these markets as to how are they going to help the local population,” he told Arab News.
Popalzai said Balochistan border areas were sparsely populated and establishment of a few shopping terminals would “hardly make any difference in the lives of the people.”
He said cross-border smuggling was a major source of income for people living in the frontier areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, so “this requires a lot more effort than mere setting up of markets to check this undocumented economy.”
Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government should establish cold storages and warehouses in the border markets to boost the export of perishable and other items to the neighboring countries.
“The taxation system on the exports and imports of different items through the land routes should be well defined to encourage businessmen and locals to boost the legal trade with Afghanistan and Iran,” he said.