KARACHI: The president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggohas emphasized that tea prices can be quickly curtailed if imports are facilitated directly from Tanzania, which is a major producer of tea in the world.
Pakistan should explore every possible avenue to control food inflation and tea is one of the major food items fueling inflation; as it is dependent on imports heavily, he added.
Maggo said that it is perturbing to note that currently only 2 per cent of tea is being imported from Tanzania directly and pricing pressures in Kenyan tea markets are causing an added strain to foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan and exchange range volatility; and, exchange rate volatility is adding up to the miseries of importers and general public alike.
Hanif Lakhany, VP FPCCI, apprised the Pakistani exporters of the potential to export a number of products to Tanzania in large quantities, e.g. value added textiles, pharmaceuticals, surgical goods, sports goods, fruits & vegetables, plastic ware, etc.
Zeeshan Maqsood, Convener FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Tea Trade, said that Pakistan imports a huge amount of around 240 million kilograms of tea annually and Tanzanian share is only 3.5 million kilograms. Pakistan is a $600 million tea market and Tanzania stands to benefit a lot from getting a share out of it.
Dr. Jacqueline Mkindi, CEO of Tanzania Horticulture Association, led the counterpart delegation and invited the Pakistani traders to explore the opportunities in textiles, pharmaceuticals, gemstones, minerals and fruits & vegetables.
FPCCI considers the current trade volume of approximately $220 with Tanzania too short of the real potential and considers the psychological mark of $1 billion achievable within a short span of two to three years.