KARACHI - Thousands of tons of mangoes are likely to be exported to South Korea next year as Korean importers have started visiting Pakistan.

“Korea has already allowed import of mango from Pakistan this year after an in-depth inspection of quality and standard of the fruit,” said Waheed Ahmed, Co-chairman Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA).

At least 4000-6000 tons of the fruit could be exported by the next couple of years, he added.

Beside the fresh mango, the visiting foreign delegation has also shown its keen interest in mango pulp which could be exported throughout the year, he said and added a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been finalized with the foreign buyers to start the trade commercially by next season.

According to Waheed , the opening of Korean market was a landmark achievement after the markets of Japan, USA and other highly valued markets.

He said a couple of delegations from the foreign country have visited quarantines facilities and plants in Pakistan besides holding meetings with leading exporters of the fruit during the last few weeks.

The visiting importers/experts from Korea have shown their keen interest in Pakistani mango as the country’s fruit was the best one as compared to the same mainly imported from Philippine, Vietnam, and Taiwan etc., he added.

Waheed said a three-member delegation which included Myung Seung Jin, Cheif Executive Officer of IKP Korea Co. Limited, Sooba Khan, Executive Director of IKP Korea, and other official of the company Park Young Kyu that was led by Suhail Nisar Churra, Chairman Pakistan-Korea Business Council of FPCCI, has visited various plants and quarantines facilities in the country.

After a detailed visit of top Pakistani fruit firm, the members of the delegation said that hot water treatment plant facility and other plants installed for mango pulps of the company were up to mark. The processed fruit could easily be exported to highly lucrative market South Korea.

“Korea has at least demand of 20000 tons of mango which is currently being met through imports from few countries. But the delicious, aromatic and different varieties of mango grown in Pakistan have no parallel,” Myung Seung Jin remarked.

The door could also be opened for other fruits once mango reached successfully in Korean markets. The efforts of Pakistani ambassador in Seoul, PHEDC and PFVA were behind the recent breakthrough in opening of market for Pakistani mango, he added.

According to Suhail Nisar Churra, despite a 30 percent duty on imports of mango, Pakistani mango could have a good value in Korean market.