Pakistan, China sign another trade-related agreement

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A prestigious signing ceremony of the Protocol for Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for export of onion from Pakistan to China between General Administration of Customs China (GACC) of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was signed on Tuesday.

Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research and Nong Rong, the Ambassador of Peoples Republic of China in Pakistan signed the agreement at Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR), Islamabad.

It was reaffirmed that such initiatives would further strengthen friendship ties between both the countries. Such trade related Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) would bring the people of both the countries more close together.

Syed Fakhar Imam highlighted that the agricultural sector is indispensable to the country’s economic growth, food security, employment generation and poverty alleviation particularly for the rural population.

It was further stated that the present government under Prime Minister Imran Khan has been giving high priority to growth of agriculture sector on sustainable basis and is implementing the most appropriate policies to achieve the desired outcomes.

Syed Fakhar Imam highlighted that Pakistan with around 138 thousand ha and 1.8 million tons of onion production stands at 6th and 9th position in terms of onion area and production respectively.

Moreover, the Pakistan contributes 2.1% in world onion area and 1.9% in its world production. The Minister stated that Pakistan has been exporting rice, mango and citrus to China after complying phytosanitary import requirements of China.

The instant Protocol would also create awareness about quarantine and phytosanitary compliance among Pakistan onion producers.

Nong Rong, the Chinese Ambassador, anticipated that the Protocol would open new ways for more Pakistani products to reach Chinese markets. He further said that China and Pakistan are complementary to each other.

China is already supporting Pakistan in Foot and Mouth disease control, chili, potato, beef and mutton production. The CPEC would further result in such trade ties. Work on development quarantine and Phytosanitary procedures for export of Pakistani onions to China was initiated by Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) was initiated during January, 2019.

The National Plant Protection Organizations of both the countries conducted Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) and the technical negotiations resulted in the form of Protocol during April 2021. Through friendly consultations, and in order to ensure safe entry of onion (Allium cepa Linn.) from Pakistan to China, to prevent the introduction of pests, and to protect plant health under the provisions of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization.

DPP/ NPPO – Pakistan and GACC/ NPPO – China has agreed to signed draft “Protocol of Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for the export of onion from Pakistan to the China between General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and Ministry of National Food Security and Research of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

Under this Protocol, the DPP would conduct pest survey, implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) targeting quarantine pests of concern to China during the growing season of onion by adopting internationally recognized phytosanitary inspection methods and ensure pest free export of onion to China.

The processing companies intend to export onions from Pakistan to China shall be registered and recommended by DPP after approval through audit for further registration with GACC.

At the end, Syed Fakhar Imam expressed his deepest thanks to Chinese ceremony for attending this signing ceremony and paid special thanks the General Administration of Customs China (GACC)/ NPPO – China and the Chinese Government for cooperation and facilitation of bilateral trade of agricultural goods between Pakistan and China.

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