Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) is planning to invite multiple Chinese trade delegations to Pakistan with a focus on increasing Pakistani exports of fresh, processed and dry fruits.
President PCJCCI SM Naveed said this while addressing a think tank session here at PCJCCI premises on Wednesday.
The PCJCCI chief said that Pakistan and China can collaborate to initiate fruit quality enhancement centres, processing units, dehydration plants and cold storage chains to process Pakistani fruits in line with the international standards for export to world markets.
SM Naveed said that the fruit sector of Pakistan has an enormous export potential that can be beneficial for both countries. In this regard, he suggested forming a preliminary research team in order to put ideas into action. “We will soon invite Chinese delegations to Pakistan with a focus on export promotion of fresh, processed and dry fruits from Pakistan which would be re-exported to the rest of the world after value addition through Chinese processing and packaging Technology,” he added.
Daud Ahmed, Senior Vice President PCJCCI, said that Pakistan produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, with total annual production estimated at 9 million metric tons. This includes citrus 990,000 metric tonnes, mangoes 439,000 metric tonnes, apples 526,000 metric tonnes, guavas 127,000 metric tonnes, apricots and other fruits 1.914 million metric tonnes.
He pointed out that unfortunately, due to lack of advanced processing and packaging techniques, nearly 50 percent of total fruit production is lost during harvesting, transportation, preservation, and storage. He further added that there is a dire need to focus on this industry and to upgrade it by boosting both the fresh fruit packaging, grading and processing for value addition, and to approach markets for export of fresh as well as processed fruits products.
Khalid Raffique Chaudhary, Vice President PCJCCI, mentioned that the major operational activities in this process that need attention include sorting, washing, waxing, drying, grading and packing. He said that it would be a great initiative if China establishes fruit processing and value addition facilities in Pakistan as it would be equally beneficial for both the countries.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI, emphasized upon the need for joint ventures between China and Pakistan in the field of Horticulture sector. He said there are bright prospects of joint ventures for both the countries in citrus cultivation, as Pakistan, with a total area of 206,569 hectares, is producing 2.0 million metric tonnes of oranges, making it the second major fruit crop of Pakistan after citrus.